SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook launched its "Buy Black Friday" initiative and a corresponding gift guide on Friday as a way to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season.
The initiative is a part of a larger three-month "Season of Support" program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Erica Woods is a spokesperson for Facebook, and says timing this campaign with impact was a crucial consideration.
"We really want to be able to help these businesses coming into the holiday season," Woods says, "because we know it is such a critical time right now."
Black-owned small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses.
"Over the next month leading up into Black Friday on the 27th," Woods adds, "we will have live shows on our platform to help support small Black-owned businesses across the country."
"The gift guide is in partnership with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce," Woods explains, "We selected over 60 different businesses. Those businesses are completely diverse in what they're offering- that's fashion, food, clothes. I mean, you name it, there's something represented there."
Diarra Bousso's sustainable lifestyle and fashion brand, DIARRABLU, has been selected for Facebook's gift-guide.
"I was very thrilled because you know, it's Facebook," Bousso says, "as a business owner, what you need is visibility."
"I think as a as a company, as a designer, as an artist," Bousso continues, "I always had faith in my products and what I'm celebrating in terms of the prints and the sustainability element and the size inclusivity, that was something that I knew was good. It was a matter of getting seen."
Bousso lives and works in San Francisco, but the majority of her products are made in Senegal and offer employment opportunities for community members in Dakar.
"This is kind of amplifying us, you know," the designer remarks, "to the whole country and to Facebook."
"When we signed that agreement, I was like, 'we need to ramp up production,'" Bousso says, "(people said) make sure you have enough stock of that dress. I was like, 'I don't, but I'll work on it.'"
Facebook launches 'Buy Black Friday' to support Black-owned small businesses during holidays