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“I have been trying to find a list of minority-owned businesses in DC”

by Prince Of Petworth November 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm 59 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“In the wake of the election, I have donated money to organizations that protect the rights of groups most likely to be targeted by the incoming administration, but I would also like to harness my power as a consumer. I have been trying to find a list of minority-owned businesses in DC (women, LGBT, black, Hispanic, Muslim– basically anything but straight white male)(no offense, love PoPville) but have come up short. Do you know if there’s an even somewhat comprehensive list out there? If not, would it be possible to try to crowd-source a list?”

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  • Former DC Resident

    While I support supporting minority-owned businesses, this seems inherently discriminatory. Given the amazing diversity in this city and the fact that people of all races, colors, creeds and orientations work at all of these business, it makes more sense to just be conscious that you’re not supporting business that support bigoted view points (Jimmy John’s, Papa Johns, Home Depot, etc). It’s not fair to exclude a straight, white male who is an ally to marginalized communities solely based on who he is. Side note, I think this type of thinking (identity politics) and action is why the Right pulled so hard for Trump–straight, white men are tired of being vilified. I voted for Hillary, FWIW.

    • JohnH

      It’s a silly reason to put together this list. Just because someone is a minority doesn’t mean they are anti-Trump. And of the 300,000 or so people who voted in the 2016 election in DC, 13,000 of them voted for Trump. I think you would be more efficient trying to find out which businesses are owned by Trump supporters….
      1. Trump Hotel

    • Them2

      An affirmative for one thing is not a disavowal of an other.

      Let’s work through some basic logic. Nothing too heavy, I promise. Your comment seems to be saying:

      “People who want to support minority or women-owned businesses, do not want to support white-male owned businesses.” Is this statement necessarily true? If so, why? Can you think of other reasons some one would want to affirmatively support businesses owned by women and people of color? This is an open-book exercise, so feel free google and research.


      • James W.

        Except in the case where the disavowal is written right into the original post (“anything but straight white male.”)

    • s.patrillo

      If anyone should know about so-called “identity politics,” it is the same group that is now whining. No sympathy here.

      Vilified? This is an opportunity for those forgotten whites to possibly empathize with the minority experience, though i doubt it will happen, since they see the country as being anti-white-male and espouse Trump’s coded racist rhetoric. Good luck with that. The country is not anti-white-male, many of us are AGAINST THE CONTUNUED MARGINALIZATION OF BLACK AND BROWN PPL. Just hearing a lot of “whoa is me” when these cries have been made by other groups for decades!!! Welcome to the club.

      • Anon

        I am very brown-skinned. My parents came here from India with not too much. We’ve been very successful. Stop whining.

        • s.patrillo

          Congrats to your parents. Glad they achieved what they did. When you find a shred of empathy for anyone else, and not some personal anecdote, and are DOING SOMETHING TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE, then you can be smug and self-righteous.

    • VeggieTart

      It is discriminatory. Discrimination cuts both ways. Hating people who are white because they are white is just as wrong as hating someone who is black because they are black.

      Now, wanting to support small businesses, local businesses is a good thing, and there are plenty of those. Wanting to avoid patronizing businesses owned by people whose actions and beliefs you oppose (like boycotting Jimmy John’s, Papa John’s, Chick-fil-A) is okay.

  • matt

    …And then people wondered how a bunch of straight white males felt disadvantaged and voted for Trump

    • Whatever

      Bingo! Bernie said it best when he asked people to stop playing identity politics. Good luck putting that genie back in the bottle.

  • Truxton Thomas

    I would think just about any truly local business in D.C. would serve your purposes. For one, the owners wouldn’t be hard to find. But you’re also pretty well guaranteed a more diverse population of business owners in D.C. And regardless of the background of the owner more of your dollars will circulate into the local economy.

    • textdoc

      +1 to the idea of supporting local businesses (minority-owned or otherwise) rather than national chains.

  • PetlessInPetworth

    Not sure of an existing list BUT I’m hoping to get out to support Comet Ping Pong. Owner James Alefantis is gay – and also currently dealing with some really terrifying threats from the alt-right assholes.

  • PetlessInPetworth

    Not sure of an existing list BUT I’m hoping to get out to support Comet Ping Pong. Owner James Alefantis is gay – and also currently dealing with some really terrifying threats from the alt-right jerks.

    *edited to remove the profanity that I naturally use when referring to the alt-right.

    • jumpingjack

      Agreed (there was a post here about this yesterday). But we should also stop calling them “alt right,” and use a more accurate term, like white supremacists or neo-nazis.

      • Angry Parakeet

        Yep, they’ve climbed in through the unlocked Overton Window.

  • stacksp
    • Alan

      Thanks for answering the OP question

      • anon


    • Neighbor

      What if they are minority owned but have a gigantic mural of a serial rapist? How do I know where to buy my chili then?

      • mcd

        Skin color takes precedence here. Did you even read the post?!?! You can get half smokes down the street for double the price on 7th and FL.

  • B’Dale Res

    Considering an individuals genetic make up, anyone know what it takes to be considered a minority?

    • Anon


    • textdoc

      I assume it’s self-definition/self-designation as a minority.

  • JustSomeDude

    So would you prefer to spend money at a business owned by a black woman who voted for Trump or a business owned by a white man who voted for Hillary?

    • matt

      careful now….you might make a head explode

    • Anon

      “black woman voted for Trump” – hahahahahaha

      • palisades

        There are dozens! Literally!

        • truth

          actually a higher percentage – 8% – of black people voted for Trump than Romney’s 6%. Us coastal elites weren’t hearing what the rest of the nation was hearing from him.

          • ddd

            “Us coastal elites ”
            you mean MOST of the voters?

          • HaileUnlikely

            ddd – you realize that your snarky retort and millions like it contributed not only to our losing the election but to our being totally blindsided by the fact that we were in danger of losing the election. We collectively blew it, and we have people with attitudes like yours to thank for that.

      • VeggieTart

        There are plenty of straight, white men who support GLBT+, non-whites, and women, and plenty of GLBT+, non-whites, and women who support a party that is against their civil rights.

  • PieWithSparkles

    You can start with DC Government’s Department of Small and Local Business Development. DSLBD maintains a list of Certified Business Enterprises, which you can look up on their website (dslbd DOT dc DOT gov). The CBE list is primarily maintained for use during government contracting and procurement but could help you identify local, resident-owned businesses. DSLBD also supports Small Business Saturday and the Made In DC initiative. There is also Think Local First DC, which is a non-profit membership organization of locally-owned, independent businesses in DC. These resources may not get exactly what you’re looking for, but supporting local businesses helps the DC economy, boosts local employment, and encourages sustainability.

    • Alan

      Thanks for being only the second person in this thread to answer the OP question

  • skj84

    Cheryl Loften black female Tailor based out of Shaw. She’s been in business for a long time. Uprising Muffin is minority owned(African American owners) Restorative Republic Distillery is female(and veteran!) run. Sylines Lingerie in Chevy Chase is female owned. RIS restaurant, and the Hanks chain are female owned. Thank you for making the effort to support female/minority run businesses. I think its incredibly important to give those who may not be fairly represented a chance to gain equal footing.

    • JohnH

      But you almost sound like Trump here – making it sound like just because they are a minority, they aren’t given a chance to gain equal footing? Just like all African-Americans live in the ghetto? You are lumping everyone into one group.
      There are plenty of privileged, arrogant jerks that are not white males too.

      • skj84

        Wow. You are so fragile. So threatened by giving people of color equal footing. So sad. I’m so glad I don’t live in a bubble of privlage where the mere suggestion of “what minority owned businesses can I support” leads me to express how threatened I am by the concept. Cause every response you”be posted has shown that. All I did was thank the OP for thinking of minority business owners and you compare me Trump? Pathetic.

        • JohnH

          It’s hilarious that you go straight to insulting me. Every post has shown that? How about you read my posts over the years? I moved to DC after working at a small business, owned by a minority woman who treated employees like garbage, who actually was taken to court because when someone left the company, she didn’t want to pay them out their remaining vacation days because she didn’t like the person, etc. I moved to DC after leaving that company and moved to a majority-minority neighborhood – not because it was what I could afford, but I didn’t want to move to Georgetown or Dupont Circle. For the last 10 years, I’ve worked with immigrants and refugees, helping them with computer skills, resume writing and interviewing skills so they can actually get a better job than minimum wage service jobs.
          Don’t call me fragile, threatened by giving people of color equal footing or pathetic because I care about HOW a business is run and HOW people are treated and not WHO owns the business.

      • skj84

        Some more great business to support:
        Fias Faboulus Finds in Petworth(Black Woman owned)
        Signature Image Salon(Black Woman Owned)
        Ice Cream Jubilee(Asian Woman Owned)
        NuVegan Cafe(African American Owned)
        Here’s how we can make America Great. Not again, but period.

      • Blithe

        A good working definition might be anyone belonging to a group that has experienced on-going discrimination with respect to federal, state, and local policies, who, In the words of the OP, “might be more likely to be targeted” negatively by the policies and the apparent values of

        • Blithe

          A good working definition might be anyone belonging to a group that has experienced on-going discrimination with respect to federal, state, and local policies, who, In the words of the OP, “might be more likely to be targeted” negatively by the policies and the apparent values of

          • Blithe

            …the incoming administration.
            . Sorry for the incomplete double post.

  • lemeow

    Ha. Wow. I’m gay, Latino, and voted for Trump. Good luck figuring out what business I own. :)

  • Anon X

    Yeah. Certainly exacting revenge on all the straight white males out there will fix our problems. Deciding you want to spend your money anywhere except places that are owned by straight white males. Wow. This world is
    more broken than I realized.

  • U st.

    Sweet, hope you don’t shop at Trader Joe’s! Or go to Meridian Pint! Or see shows at the Black cat!

  • Blithe

    -Industrial Bank, several branches
    – Mary Woods Florist, Kennedy St. NW
    – Florida Ave Grill
    – NuVegan Cafe

    • stacksp

      Picked up the vegan Mac and cheese for thanksgiving. Not sure who requested as I am a traditional Mac and cheese guy and wife made a big pan

  • James W.

    I know OP’s effort is well-intentioned, but the support/boycott of businesses based on perceived political leanings is a bit tired. sure, i get if the business itself is engaged in discriminatory or harmful practices… but we’re now rewarding/punishing based on identity or beliefs? i do business with those who value me as a customer and treat me fairly. don’t care what color you are, who you love, or what god you worship. once i start making that part of my purchasing behavior, i have a hard time calling out others for doing the same.

    • Sigh

      This wasn’t about perceived political leanings, it was simply anti-white. What a lovely sentiment.

      • stacksp

        Anti-white or just looking to support minority businesses. I think people are making a big assumption that wanting to support equates to boycotting others. Could be an attempt to just be more inclusive overall

        • Anon X

          “Basically anything except straight white male”

          I don’t know how that could be anything other than an expression of being against straight white males. The OP is part of the problem we have in this country. I’m fine trying to lift others up that are disadvantaged and I fully acknowledge the issues that exist that have created these disparities..

          That said, focus on lifting people up and not tearing others down.

          • Blithe

            Being Pro-X does not necessarily mean being Anti- Y. Really. It CAN mean that, but it doesn’t HAVE to mean that, and mostly, in practice, it doesn’t.
            – It’s odd to me how many people seem to view institutions owned/run by white males as somehow being a neutral default, while choosing to support businesses not owned/run by white males is somehow a political and even a racist act. The idea that my eating at McDonald’s is neutral but my eating at NuVegan is somehow “an expression of being against straight white males” is both incorrect and illogical. It also makes me wonder how people who spend their money in supposedly ‘neutral’ ways view themselves and their communities.

          • textdoc

            The OP was just trying to define what he/she meant by “minority.” I don’t think he/she has anything against straight white males — just wants to give a little boost to minorities.
            As far as I can tell, “focus[ing] on lifting people up and not tearing others down” is exactly what the OP is trying to do.

          • Anon X

            Blithe, I agree with you. But the OP was the one who decided to go negative. I am happy for people to seek out businesses run by minorities for the sake of empowering those business owners. Though, I’d rather buy from Al Gore than Alan Keyes- but all things being average, that’s not the typical scenario.

            Textdoc- I’ve got to disagree with your excessively charitable reading of the OPs words. It was clear they wanted to be negative and willfully did so. We all know what minority means in this context. OP could have said minority/women owned and the meaning would have been crystal clear.

            For the sake of contributing- Little Miss Pixies and Grassroots Gourmet are women owned and at least one LGBT owned. Those also happen to be 2 of maybe 5 businesses that I actually have any idea who owns them.

        • James W.

          I’m still looking for the post where someone said eating at a vegan joint is viewed as a reaction against straight white males..? And for what it’s worth, there are a whole lot of minority-owned McDonald’s. Obviously people are free to spend their money as they wish. But I think many people are (rightly) pointing out the hypocrisy of fighting back at discrimination by engaging in some kind of offsetting form of it.

  • stacksp

    My barbershop http://www.hisgroomingdc.com/ is minority owned. Located about 12th and Penn across from the CVS.

    Jared is one of the best barbers I’ve ever dealt with

  • wpk_dc

    I agree with several commenters here that it should be less about whether the owner him/herself is a minority but what policies they have in effect to respect and advocate for those who are minorities. Consider HRC’s Equality Index for LGBT’s, not local necessarily but national, even international: http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/corporate-equality-index

  • tom

    We need to check the way we talk about privilege. Under the OP’s simple identity based logic Ivanka Trump or Majic Johnsons sons business qualifies. But a straight white guy who has no family wealth and is struggling to open a small business is a “privileged” business owner?
    Obviously privilege is real in a sociological sense..but the OP and liberals in general over simplify the issue and too often ignore class.

  • Anon

    I am a minority and find this request every bit as offensive as what comes out of Trump’s mouth. Dividing us up by race, etc. is wrong, whoever does it.

    Would anyone on here seriously accept a similar argument of “I’m not anti-minority, I just support white businesses?” Blech.


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