A Blackfalds resident is creating a platform in order to provide exposure to businesses owned by members of the BIPOC community in Alberta.
Callum Daniels, co-founder of Blackfalds Against Racism, said that BIVM Business Access AB is designed to create visibility, advertising and access to Black, Indigenous and persons of other visual minority-owned businesses.
“I am starting with Alberta and I am planning to expand operations coast to coast. We want to provide all Canadians with access to these businesses,” he said.
Daniels said the platform works through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram and begins with straight-forward recognition of their companies, followed by further promotions of those businesses’s services and initiatives.
“I am working with quite a few businesses right now. I already have my Facebook and Instagram pages up and right now we have about 10 businesses posted,” he said, adding he has contacted over 250 different businesses in the province.
Daniels said BIVM Business Access AB is designed to help tear down the wealth gaps created by system racism.
“This systemic racism towards these communities has contributed to many race-based gaps that manifest in various economic situations. Supporting these visual-minority owned businesses is one way to redistribute wealth into racialized communities,” he said.
Daniels pointed to the 2016 Canadian Census which showed: 20.8 per cent of peoples of colour in Canada are low-income compared to 12.2 per cent of non-racialized people; that there is a 45 per cent income gap between Indigenous women and non-Indigenous men; and a average income gap between all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of 33 per cent.
Daniels said businesses appear eager to taker part.
“Businesses seem to be on board and are excited for the opportunity. I am trying to work with organizations here in Alberta to get more exposure including radio stations and Black Lives Matter organizations,” he said.
He added the initiative not only can help the BIPOC community economically — it can also help the celebrate these cultures as well.
“I am working to create a Facebook group, so that is exciting. I am planning on creating BIVBM Business Access for Ontario and BC in the coming weeks,” he said.