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502 Black Business Week spotlights Black-owned businesses in Louisville

502 Black Business Week is meant to celebrate Juneteenth and shine the spotlight on wonderful businesses in Jefferson County.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When Mi'Auna Kinnard opened The Body Vault KY a year ago, she knew there would be some challenges. But she said it was worth taking the risk opening up her business on Bardstown Road to help other people.

"I wanted to help people build their confidence and reach body goals and do it in a safe way," she said.

Kinnard's business, which offers non-invasive body treatments, has been back open for about three weeks, reopening with barbershops and salons after being forced to close for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. But even before being shut down, she said there were other obstacles that are common for small business owners.

"Just starting, my marketing budget is not so big that I can market to people all over," she said.

But this coming week, Kinnard and almost 70 other Black business owners will be getting a boost. The Body Vault is one of the many businesses that will be featured on 502 Black Business Week, where participating black-owned businesses in Louisville offer big deals to customers beginning June 14.

See the full list of participating businesses, as well as discounts for 502 Black Business Week, here.

Tiandra Robinson, a marketing consultant, founded 502 Black Business Week three years ago as a way to promote businesses that may traditionally fly under the radar. Robinson said one of the big obstacles facing many black-owned small businesses is the lack of resources when it comes to advertising and marketing.

"502 Black Business Week would be a good way to kind of shine the light on a lot of the wonderful businesses that we do have here in the city," Robinson said.

Robinson said 502 Black Business Week is meant to celebrate Juneteenth, which she called "Independence Day for Black Americans." Juneteenth falls on June 19, which marks the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation being read to enslaved African-Americans in Texas - the last remaining enslaved African-Americans in the Confederacy.

This year's program also comes at an opportune time as the recent protests over the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in Louisville and around the country have also led to a heightened interest in Black-owned businesses.

"To now have this influx of people wanting to support black-owned businesses is more important now than ever to help put their dollars so that a lot of them can come out of this thing we've just gone through," Robinson said.

"I believe it's important to put the dollars back into the black community and the black businesses so that they can see success in a way that other businesses have always saw success," Kinnard said.

Robinson said the increased attention can also help many of the businesses affected by the coronavirus closures that will still be feeling the ramifications for a long time.

"A lot of the black-owned businesses didn't receive the federal funding or the loans that they were giving out to a lot of business," she said. "And so a lot of them are already struggling."

For a list of the participating businesses and their promotions, visit the 502 Black Business Week website here.

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