INDIANAPOLIS — As support for the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow across the country, people locally may be looking to support black-owned businesses. However, they may find it hard to pinpoint them online.
Azia Ellis-Singleton is the creator of IndyBlackOwned.com. Her website aims to give people the resources to find black-owned businesses in the city.
“I felt like if I could not find that, then I would help create it because I couldn’t be the only person that was looking for something,” says Ellis-Singleton explaining how the website was born, “I think there is a huge demand, especially because of the climate of our nation. So many people are looking for ways to support, and the first way that people kind of think how to support someone is with their dollar.”
In just a week, the number of businesses on their site has grown from 35 to 200. The website is a living directory that allows owners to submit their information to the master list. The website covers everything from restaurants to dentists to home services. Gordon’s Milkshakes is one of those businesses.
“I once heard that there haven’t been a lot of African-American [business owners] at this part of Mass Ave, and this was told to me by fellow store owners,” explains owner Carl Gordon who’s shop is right in the heart of one of the busiest parts of Mass Ave, “The website is pretty much spreading now, so it’s a plus.”
Gordon says the website has grown his business, which usually has a line out of the door. People we spoke with in line laughed, saying they came because they saw him on IndyBlackOwned.com. Otherwise, they admit to not knowing the shop even existed.
Before starting his shake shop last December, Gordon worked with Hilton Hotels as a fine-dining chef. It’s why his shakes resemble small works of sugary art.
“If it doesn’t look good in a cup, then I don’t want to give it to someone else. I love seeing people smile. I love putting stuff together with my hands,” laughs Gordon, “They are actually seeing someone of the same skin tone producing an excellent product.”
While business owners can submit the information to the website themselves, the directory is monitored by Ellis-Singleton and her team for accuracy.