Sign up free
Sign up free
Marketing tips

How to commemorate Juneteenth as a small business: 3 tips

June 6, 2022
Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team
June 6, 2022 | Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team

A guide to recognizing Juneteenth as a Small Business

Also known as “Jubilee Day,” “Emancipation Day,” and “Freedom Day,” Juneteenth commemorates the historical events of June 19th, 1865—the day the last Black slaves were emancipated in Texas, effectually ending American slavery.

For any small business owner, Juneteenth is a vital opportunity to renew your support for your local Black community. In addition to recognizing Juneteenth with food festivals, artistic expression, and education, you can use your business’s resources and platform to amplify the efforts of local Black small businesses. 

Before you can honor this holiday, however, it’s important to understand its significance—and how you can ensure your business’s efforts help make this Juneteenth a success.

What is Juneteenth?

In 1852, the renowned activist and orator Frederick Douglass delivered a speech called, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” The speech highlighted the contradiction between the Declaration of Independence and the plight of the more than 3.2 million Black slaves living in the United States.

However, this contradiction wouldn’t be righted until 13 years later. On June 19th, 1865—two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—General Gordon emancipated all slaves in Texas, the last state with institutional slavery.

On June 19th, 1866, freedmen and women celebrated the first Juneteenth, inaugurating what has become known as “Black Independence Day.” 

Today, Juneteenth is an important day in African American history, a holiday of festivities and remembrance, a day of somber reflection, and ecstatic rejoicing over all that makes Black culture beautiful. 

Typical Juneteenth celebrations include:

  • Festivals, street fairs, and cookouts
  • Readings of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Singing of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
  • Readings of the works of famous Black writers
  • Miss Juneteenth contests

Why your business should commemorate Juneteenth

You may wonder about your place in the celebrations as a small business owner. It all comes down to how you can help lift up and amplify the meaning of this important day.

As we’ve seen, local businesses, especially local small businesses, can be powerful forces of social change. They can help foster equitable economic environments for Black families and communities, and Black-owned businesses can help close the ongoing wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

Of course, supporting your Black neighbors and community shouldn’t be restricted to one day of the year. However, honoring Juneteenth as a small local business can help to show the community that you truly support them and bolster your words with meaningful actions. Keep reading for how to commemorate Juneteenth and recognize African American history and culture. 

5 ways to commemorate Juneteenth

Even if your local small business isn’t at the center of Juneteenth celebrations, there are still many ways to show allyship and support.

Let’s take a look at five easy, yet effective, actions your local small business can take to help make Juneteenth an informative and enriching holiday for your business and community.

#1 Promote local small Black-owned businesses

While local small Black-owned businesses are often central to their communities, the truth is that many Black-owned businesses have a harder time getting off the ground and finding long-term financial success.

Black-owned businesses are more likely to seek additional sources of funding than other businesses, but they’re also more likely to be turned down for business loans. When they are approved, local small Black businesses typically receive lower loan amounts and higher interest rates.

Supporting and promoting Black-owned local businesses is thus a fantastic way to contribute to meaningful economic change.

You can prioritize local small Black-owned businesses this Juneteenth by doing the following:

  • Highlight local Black-owned businesses – Highlighting Black-owned businesses at your own business illustrates the importance of an interconnected business community. If possible, showcase how Black-owned local businesses directly contribute to your business’s success. For instance, if you run a restaurant, promote a Black-owned farming co-op from which you source your produce.
  • Partner with local small Black-owned businesses for specials – What better way to show solidarity with Black-owned businesses than by partnering with them on discounts and specials? For example, if you run a deli, you can partner with a Black-owned bakery to sell their baked goods in-house on Juneteenth. 
  • Buy from Black-owned businesses – While you should buy from local small Black-owned businesses throughout the year, make a special effort to patronize Black-owned businesses on Juneteenth. Cater from Black-owned businesses for your company picnic, for example. Or, have a Black-owned design company design your business’s t-shirts for your next day of service. 

If your community has a local business partnership, you can band together to expand your efforts even further. For example, in 2020, Baltimore, Maryland’s Downtown Partnership of small businesses combined their efforts to uplift local Black-owned businesses on social media. As president Shelonda Stokes reported, they also organized an event to last throughout the year:

“The fourth Friday of every month here in Center Plaza, we're going to have a Black Business Friday that includes those businesses, restaurants, makers, all of those, along with music and a celebration of art.”

#2 Recognize any local Black businesses, employees, influencers, and artists 

Aside from supporting their economic success, recognizing the contributions of the Black members in your community can help strengthen your neighborhood.

While you don’t need to hold a long awards ceremony, you can recognize the people and local small businesses who’ve helped make your business successful by doing the following:

  • Recommend Black businesses – On your Nextdoor Business Page, you can share posts recognizing local small Black businesses. But don’t just share the link to their page. Get personal and share details about their contributions to the community, how you’ve enjoyed working with them, or your own experience with their services.
  • Highlight local Black artists – This Juneteenth, transform your business’s website into a platform that can help to share the creative contributions of Black artists in your community. Create a page devoted to local Black artists, podcasters, and influencers and show examples of their work. If you have the funds, you might even consider funding a Black artist grant, contributing to a scholarship, or hosting an artist talk, reading, or art show.

If your business has a physical storefront, you can also offer space for Black business owners to showcase their offerings or to feature the work of Black creatives. Take inspiration from Chicago, Illinois business Momentum Coffee & Coworking. In 2021, this business hosted pop-ups by local Black businesses and participated in a Juneteenth art walk. 

"It is important to support, empower, and collaborate with other small businesses,” said Momentum co-founder Tracy Powell. “We created an environment for many businesses to thrive. We are proud of how it turned out.”

#3 Focus on promotion, not profit

When it comes to the Juneteenth celebration and recognition, it's important to focus on what matters. For any small business owner who wants to be an ally, it’s crucial to recognize that the point of Juneteenth marketing isn’t to make a profit. The goal is to amplify local small Black-owned businesses and honor the importance of Black culture to your neighborhood, state, country, and world.

Use this holiday as an opportunity to uplift the Black community. As you commemorate Juneteenth, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Prioritize Black voices
  • Uplift local small Black-owned businesses
  • Don’t appropriate Black history and culture
  • Practice good allyship and boost community support
  • Use any marketing efforts to spread awareness—not boost your own sales

When you make an effort to be a good ally, promoting local small Black-owned businesses can demonstrate that you understand your business’s vitality is intertwined with theirs. This Juneteenth, emphasize solidarity, not your bottom line.

The U.S. Black Chambers

The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) supports African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises. Alisa Joseph, Vice President of USBC, shared the following:

"The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. encourages consumers, businesses, corporations and government agencies to celebrate Juneteenth in a number of meaningful and impactful ways. Most importantly, shop with Black-owned businesses as often as possible all year long and advocate/provide opportunities that demonstrate equitable contract and vendor participation. Connect with USBC Black Chambers across the country and assist in their efforts to support Black firms. Support Black-owned media – radio, digital and TV – with your advertising dollars, viewership, and engagement. Open a bank account with a Black bank. Acknowledge the wonderful contributions made by Black people since our nation’s inception by visiting museums, cultural centers, bookstores, theaters, and concerts that herald our impact in the US and globally. Register and make sure you vote in all elections – local, state, and national. Sponsor and support community events that celebrate this important holiday in newsletters, festivals, cuisine, and arts and culture. Use and support, our business directory and certification platform, to find and access thousands of Black firms across the nation. These are great ways to celebrate the Juneteenth National Holiday this year.”

Visit and follow @usblackchambers to learn more about what the organization does everyday to support Black businesses and ways that you can help.

Commemorate Juneteenth with Nextdoor

Juneteenth is a holiday filled with delicious flavors, captivating art, and community-oriented festivities. It’s also a holiday to remember the contributions of Black Americans to making the country a pillar of opportunity, freedom, and excellence. Whether you promote Black businesses, educate your community and customers, or bring recognition to this independence day, it can make all the difference for the people in your community. 

This Juneteenth, recognize the local small Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood by promoting them on your website and Nextdoor Business Page. You can also share all of your holiday initiatives with your customers.

Hosting a workshop on inclusion or Black literature? Post it on Nextdoor. Partnering with the small local Black-owned coffee shop down the street? Nextdoor can help with that, too.

By celebrating the Black members of your community, you can help contribute to a brighter future and a kinder world this Juneteenth—and every day of the year. 



Black Enterprise. Resilient Black Business Owners Aim for More Financing And Growth Despite Covid-19.

Brookings. Black-owned businesses in U.S. cities: The challenges, solutions, and opportunities for prosperity.

MSN. The Traditional Foods of Juneteenth Carry a Rich History.

NMAAHC. The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth.

Wikye. Pan-African Flag: The Significance of the Colors of Black History.

WBALTV. Downtown Partnership events to celebrate black businesses on Juneteenth. 

Momentum Coffee. Juneteenth Recap - Making of Momentum Coffee & Coworking ™ Chicago Coffee Shop - June 28, 2021.

Claim your free Business Page to get started on Nextdoor. For resources on how to use Nextdoor to stay connected with your local customers, pertinent news affecting business, and more, follow us at @nextdoorbusiness on Facebook

Get Nextdoor updates

Get free tips and business insights on how to get the most out of Nextdoor