The push to support Black-owned businesses continues to gain momentum as communities fight against racial injustice. Some local business owners said they’ve gained allies in new customers.
"All different races. Support has been really good," said Zulu Miller, owner of Reggae World in North Park. He moved to San Diego County from Jamaica more than 40 years ago. The long-time business owner sells clothes, accessories, fragrances and more.
"Now we get everybody trying to support, which is a good thing," agreed Lili Kleu, owner of LiliKouture Boutique. Kleu opened her business in 2000 after moving to San Diego from West Africa. She designs and sells African clothing. "For me to be here and show people how to wear African clothes, I’m very, very proud of it."
Toran Grays just opened his business, Extraordinary Banana Pudding in La Mesa, in March, just two days before the Governor ordered restaurants to stop indoor operations because of COVID-19. Nonetheless, he said the community has supported him through his launch.
"We were making pudding for about 18 hours straight, each night, for about a week straight," said Grays.
Each business owner said they’ve experienced a boost in business over the past few weeks.
"There was one point a time in life where that was never happening. People were seeing things and turning a blind eye," said Grays.
Neighbors have been rallying behind Black-owned businesses since the killing of George Floyd sparked a new wave of advocacy against racial injustice.
"It feels personal, because it can be your child, it can be your brother, it can be your sister," said Kleu.
"I've been profiled before, black man with dreads walking down the street or coming out of a store, yeah, I’ve been profiled before and I've been stopped unjustly," said Miller.
"I feel like everyone should have a fair shot at life. No matter who you are, what color, how tall you are, it doesn't matter," said Grays.
Each business owner told NBC 7 they’re grateful for the support they’ve received from the community and hope the conversation to end racial injustice continues.
"Don't give up and continue doing what we're doing, and we will see a change one day."
"We just need to come as one, that's all," added Kleu.
"We have to get in there and vote. We gotta change a lot of stuff in life and if we gotta change it, its gotta start there," said Grays.