COVID-19 rocked small businesses across the nation, but especially BIPOC-owned businesses. When lockdown ground foot traffic and discretionary spending to a halt, it was tough. Amidst this turbulent climate, Maggie Noe and Marine Nimblette decided to found Businesses United in Diversity to fight against the systemic barriers for BIPOC business owners that were only emphasized by the pandemic.
“It is a known reality that minority businesses are subject to an unequal sharing of financial and government resources, discriminatory lending practices, and an absence of community support due to systemic racist ideals that have been woven into fabrics of society," Nimblette says. "COVID-19 made this reality even more consequential: black-owned and minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 for this same reason."
On Saturday, August 8, Businesses United in Diversity will hold a one-day expo to spotlight BIPOC-owned businesses in the Hudson Valley and to explore how the discrimination and systemic oppression these entrepreneurs have always experienced left them especially vulnerable in the pandemic. “As a minority, I have experienced the hurdles that come with trying to be successful in a majority-white community and I hope to help alleviate this struggle for others by giving minority businesses the opportunity to showcase themselves," Nimblette says.
The event, which will be held in the parking lot of the Ulster County DMV office building (located at 244 Fair Street in Uptown Kingston), will take place from 9am-2pm, in partnership with the Kingston Farmer’s Market. So buy your groceries on Wall Street then head over two blocks meet and buy from more than 15 Hudson Valley BIPOC vendors, and help circulate month into these businesses.
2020 Businesses United Vendors
A Traveler’s Garden celebrates and honors nature and good health through the creation and selling of live plant arrangements, organic herbal care products, and nature inspired art and jewelry. All products are vegan or vegetarian friendly and reflect the company values of Truth in all forms.
Bohemian Fleek Boutique is a new women’s clothing store to the Ulster County. Visit the Bohemian Fleek Boutique Facebook page and/or Instagram to see their unique clothes, accessories, and versatile jewelry.
Edenesque is a socially conscious artisanal food creator committed to the actualization of clean, whole, nutritious, and delicious foods. All products are locally sourced. Edenesque has a line of high quality nut milks. The mission statement and value proposition of the company align with affecting positive change in the Ulster County community through education and promotion.
For over 20 years, Green Valley landscaping has completed a number of projects of all sizes in the Ulster County. The company differentiates from the rest with their experienced team, landscape specialists, competitive pricing, and licensed and insured business.
London Auto is a family run auto-detailing business. Services include Full Interior, Full Exterior, Wash and Wax, Full Detail, Full Interior + Wash and Wax. The London auto goal is to have every car that comes in looking show room ready when it leaves.
Pretty Babes Cosmetics sells a number of different lip-glosses, oils, clothes, and other accessories. Products can be bought via Facebook Direct Message or on the website.
Seasoned Delicious is bringing the taste of the Caribbean in an unforgettable food experience to the Hudson Valley. All products include locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality. Seasoned Delicious’s product line includes spices & seasonings, hot sauces, relishes, preserves, spreads & mustards, oils & vinegars, and BBQ sauce.
Mire’s Kitchen is a Soul Food restaurant based in Kingston. The mission is simple, the owner loves cooking and wants to bring the best comfort food to you. “Fried chicken, Fried hard please!” is the motto. You can place orders through the Facebook page.
Seasoned Gives is a nonprofit corporation that creates a platform to inspire creative thinking and invoke the entrepreneurial spirit that lays in all of us. Seasoned Gives is addressing the many problems that plague low opportunity communities and minority populations by focusing on education and resource development for low opportunity and minority populations.
Tafari Saunders is a Kingston High School student looking to share his passion for art. Tafari’s work has been shown through his involvement as a part of PUGG, Kingston Artists Collective, Kingston Midtown Arts District, and The DRAW Kingston.
Created by Kingston High School graduate, Mya Williams, Vanity creates and sells homemade, all natural, vegan lip glosses. The brand represents pride in yourself and self-love. “Apply it. Own it. Achieve it.”
EYESOLART is an all exclusive brand that sells prints of their graphic designs as well as mugs, posters, t-shirts, and masks! “You name it and we can put our art on it for you”. They are fashion designers as well as stylists who believe art is important to everything they do. From music to clothes to prints, they love to share their work and love what they do.
Jeanne Milner is a Licensed Life Insurance and Financial Literacy Rep. If you’re not sure what that means, no problem. Jeanne started a blog , “Young Blank N Momming It” that walks you through everything you need to know to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
MF Daint is a local art brand by Daniel Tapia. MF Daint work can be seen in Wired Gallery through the Ulster County Teen Show featuring works by 28 young artists between the ages of 12 and 18.
Tamanika Hammond started Mai Tai Bling-N-Things to share her favorite hobby (shopping) with others. By selling Paparazzi Accessories, Tamanika is helping her customers shop, save money, and look fabulous. Her goal is to enlighten, empower, and uplift others. All accessories are $5.
Naimah Muhammad is a Kingstonian, born and raised, and a Master of Social Work student. Recently launching Amatullah Butters, Naimah sells raw, unrefined Shéa butter whipped with different scents.