CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In recent weeks, a bigger spotlight has been cast on racial inequality and the black experience in this country, and people have been looking for ways to show support. One of those ways is by supporting Black-owned businesses who have seen an uptick in interest.
"‘It's been pretty hectic, for the past couple weeks I think our business has at least doubled,” said Gregory Williams.
Williams is co-owner of the What the Fries food truck, along with Jamie Barnes.
"It's always been busy for us, but this just took us to the next level," Williams said.
Their food truck is just one of the posts you’ll find on the cltblackowned Instagram, a page that’s blown up with followers in recent weeks.
“We have over 14k [followers] and the page hasn’t even been up for a month yet, it was just like, wow this is crazy,” Madeline Carothers said.
Madeline Carothers, her husband Jeff Carothers, and friend Ashley Creft created the page.
“I think it's giving people a lot of ways to give back to the Black community that’s a lot of the time forgotten about,” Madeline said.
Jamie Barnes said it's something they've seen as business owners.
“A lot of Black-owned businesses get pushed to the back, they don’t get noticed how they should,” Barnes said.
Even a quick search for fashion advice like "hairstyle ideas" or "makeup ideas" won’t initially show Black women, unless it’s specified "for Black women."
“I think its important to know that, 'there's somebody that looks like me that has a business that I can patronize,'” Carothers said.
Facebook has also added has a Lift Black Voices section, where users can find black resources, donation opportunities, and conversations.
“Black people are America,” said Al-Malik Sharpe, who bought food at the What the Fries food truck on Thursday.
Sharpe said he tries to support whenever he can.
“Forever we've always seemed like [Black people] have been stepped on, so I feel like its important to support Black people, and by that way, we’re supporting the economy,” Sharpe said.
Carothers said they've had dozens of businesses reach out so far and are working to get through everyone, but is excited about the success its had in getting businesses new customers.
"It's really exciting when we hear that businesses have received that financial increase because posting about a business is fine and that's great, but seeing an increase in sales is what creates generational wealth and is what knocks down barriers," Carothers said.