Buy Black Lou launches portal to increase Black-owned vendor and supplier visibility

April 20, 2021

With technical and financial support from Louisville Metro Government, Buy Black Lou, LLC has expanded its already thriving Black Business App to include a new network designed to increase supplier diversity by making it easier for companies to connect with Black-owned contractors in the city.

The new Black Contractors Network, which Louisville Forward supported with technical assistance and a $50,000 grant, allows Black-owned businesses such as carpenters, electricians and landscapers to create a profile making themselves available for companies and organizations looking for their services. Conversely, companies and organizations looking for contractors can create a profile to list jobs/projects for bid and to review resumes that companies post. Contractors and employers can also communicate with one another over the Network.

Buy Black Lou developer and owner Tanika Bryant, a self-taught coder, is calling on businesses large and small to populate the new site with their profiles. “This labor of love is so needed and even though I didn’t know what it would become when I started it in 2019, I knew I was filling a critical need in the business community,” said Bryant.

“The city is proud to support Tanika’s vision and execution of the Black Contractors Network,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “What we hear repeatedly is that Black business owners struggle with a lack of capital, lack of advertising and lack of resources. This resource will make great strides in connecting Black-owned businesses to jobs that they are ready to bid on and execute.”

The portal is free to use by both contractors and employers.

Bryant started Buy Black Lou in 2019 as a Facebook group providing a place for Black-owned businesses to advertise their services and provide a central location to find Black businesses to patronize.

This effort complements other initiatives taken in the past year to help invest in more equitable economic development. Greater Louisville Inc. yesterday launched the Racial Equity Pledge and toolkit for employers, Louisville Metro Government and institutional partners formed the Equity in Contracting and Procurement Task Force, which will work to increase the level of expenditures with Minority-, Female- and Disabled-owned Business Enterprises through supplier diversity initiatives, and the city currently has an open Request For Proposals for the creation or expansion of a Minority Business Incubator.

To view the Black Contractors Network, create a business profile, submit a resume or list a job, please visit https://blackcontractorsnetwork.com/

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