Janine Davis

Soul food plate

It’s the time of the year again — for smothered chicken, macaroni and cheese, barbecue ribs, and sweet potato pie. With cooler temperatures, there’s always room for comfort food. And you’ll find it during Charlotte Black Restaurant Week™.(CBRW)

The week runs October 16 – 29 at various Black-owned businesses in the Charlotte area. The week features various restaurants that offer menu specials. Now in its 7th year, the Charlotte Black Restaurant Week™ was established in 2017. And needless to say, it was a hit! According to the CBRW website, the event featured 24 Black-owned restaurants, over 40,000 people supported the effort and it was featured in over 75 articles locally and nationally.

The impact of social media sent it through the roof. On Facebook alone, CBRW reached over 2 million people. And that’s not all. The local economy benefitted as well generating some $750,000 during the week-long event.

Who’s behind this local phenomenon? Cathay Dawkins is the founder of CBRW. He has managed to create one of the city’s most engaging initiatives that supports Black-owned entrepreneurs.  His event is supported by the BBOC or Black Business Owners of Charlotte. The group was founded in November 2014. It set a goal to build a strong relationship with business owners, partners, sponsors, and the local community in Charlotte, North Carolina. BBOC is made up of over 3,500 official members and has an online market of over 15,000 members. The mission is simple: to provide Business Development and other crucial resources to Black business owners while engaging and inspiring the community to invest in Black-owned establishments.

And that they do. Since it’s inception, CBRW has generated more than $1.7 million in the local economy. (Learn more at www.bboclt.com). There a number of restaurants are participating in CBRW. And they are still accepting more  applicants. 

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