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Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, cannabis has been considered an essential service that continues to pull in money at a time when many businesses are just trying to stay afloat. As an industry, it was lucrative before it was even legal; an alternate marketplace for poor and working-class entrepreneurs. Thanks to the heavy-handed reaction of racially biased law enforcement, a disproportionate amount of those underground businesses swept up in police raids and street checks were Black and Indigenous.

Coming across a tattoo parlour that celebrates and prioritizes darker skin complexions is somewhat of a rarity within the tattoo community.

(PHOTO: Joe Sherlock, owner of Celebrity Vegetarian Restaurant) A construction site with seemingly limitless orange cones, detour signs, cranes and large pulsating machinery has now become part of the cityscape along a good chunk of Eglinton Avenue in Toronto. The development of the Crosstown LRT has turned the historic area known as Little Jamaica (which runs from Allen road, west to Keele Street along Eglinton Avenue) into a virtual shuttle run for cars and an obstacle course for pedestrians.

At 16 years old, Marcus McGowan is quickly becoming a serial entrepreneur with the launch of his third company, Glovely. It’s a PPE supply company that allows people to put their own safety kits together with high-quality gloves, face shields, masks, hand sanitizer. You can also create safety gift baskets for loved ones.

Businesses, big and small are closing at unprecedented rates globally, but that doesn’t mean some of us aren’t still thriving. In fact, some of us have mastered the pivot and are making serious bank!

Steve Byfield started off pursuing a career as a music educator, studying at York University and playing in a jazz band in Southern Ontario. After his first year in University, he started working part-time for a recently retired police officer who had his own beer and winemaking business in Concord, Ontario. 

Sasha Senior never imagined her first business; Bliss Skateboard Shop, would be the only one of its kind to serve skaters in the border city of Windsor between Ontario and Michigan. After an inspiring conversation with the owner of the Wood Shed Skate Shop in Westland, Michigan - she jumped at the chance to secure the perfect space in a prime location.

Everyone has ideas, but not everyone acts on them. A lot of us are even strongly passionate about those ideas, but yet we never realize them. This is why Robleh Jama prefers curiosity over passion. Jama is the founder of Tiny Hearts, an award-winning digital product studio whose apps have been downloaded over 6 million times.

Did you know that about 4 million people in Canada are food insecure? Did you know that this country has a $49 billion food waste problem? Or that food waste emissions are 25 times more damaging to the environment than CO2 emissions?

As a child, Odeen Eccleston enjoyed reading the New in Homes pages of the Toronto Star, which she admits was her favourite section. She would read the newspaper with her mom every weekend and became fascinated with the featured properties. Additionally, her parents would take her to see the model homes at open houses in their neighbourhood at every opportunity.

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ByBlacks.com is the top-ranked award-winning online magazine focused exclusively on telling Black Canadian stories. With over one hundred writers to date covering a range of editorial content, we also provide a free business directory for Black Canadian owned businesses, free events listing and promotional services for our clients.

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