TAMPA, Fla- — The ‘Shop Black City Tour’ was founded by Greg and Tee Westbrook.
“We realized that this was needed in every city,” said Greg.
It started in 2019 in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, as a local vendor event for Black-owned businesses, but then it quickly grew outside of their city limits.
“Last year we did a 6 city tour and basically we host these large pop-ups and support Black-owned businesses. We were able to support over 718 businesses and garnish $300,000 in revenue,” said Greg.
The duo has created a platform to help Black entrepreneurs generate more consistent revenue and gain more brand visibility.
This year they’re expanding again.
“When we went to these 6 cities last year and saw the impact that we had and the people that we touched, we said we had to expand this thing. So, this year we’re doing 18 cities and Tampa is our first stop,” said Tee.
The tour is in Tampa this weekend working to support our community, highlighting Black-owned Bay Area businesses to help them grow.
“Building towards helping out the wealth gap with Black people in general in the United States we just saw this an opportunity to be able to provide these opportunities for businesses all over the country,” said Greg.
“The need for community support for small businesses is very big,” said Ashley Finn, Owner & CEO of WeekEndz Sweet Treats.
From jewelry to sweet treats, this event showcases all kinds of different Black-owned shops in our area.
“This is really, really exciting for me seeing as though I do all of this in my kitchen,” said Finn.
Business owners said this tour couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Local businesses, especially with the pandemic, are struggling,” said Chan Sumner, Owner of Chan’s Jewelry Box.
“Small businesses are the community. We’re the community,” said Finn.
Once they leave Tampa, Greg and Tee hope local businesses will be left with new customers and more community support.
“Our goal is to continue to generate that revenue for businesses this year… I hope they feel the support,” said Tee.