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Tampa Bay Black Excellence Challenge Supports Local Businesses

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - With Juneteenth right around the corner, one local organization is encouraging people to visit black-owned businesses during the month of June.

"We just have a large range of various businesses that we are proud to showcase because sometimes people only think black-owned businesses are restaurants and we are much more than restaurants," said Kiva Williams with the Tampa Bay Excellence Challenge.

This June, the Tampa Bay Black Excellence Challenge is back, encouraging people to explore black owned businesses through a game of bingo.

"Barber shops that you can visit, your favorite restaurant, brunch spot, you can hire a personal trainer, and something that you can do that doesn't cost money is leaving a positive review on their social media page," said Karimah Henry with the Tampa Bay Black Excellence Challenge.

And as Juneteenth approaches, organizers Kiva Williams and Karimah Henry, are spreading the word.

"They love being able to check out new businesses, especially ones they've never heard of, or even thought would exist," said Karimah.

Some bingo squares in the challenge are "order food from your favorite BBQ spot," "visit a pharmacy," and "purchase an item from a beauty, cosmetic, or personal care business."

"There's only a small handful of dermatologists here locally and estheticians that truly specialize in black and brown skin," said Sky White.

Sky White owns Shades Face and Body Bar in Brandon. which specializes in healing for black and brown skin. She says it's important to support local businesses like hers.

"We're at a point in 2022 where we're really harboring on the point of inclusivity, being able to support these black owned businesses in a tangible way," said White.

There are multiple prizes for the bingo challenge. including four tickets to a Rays game, but White says it's not about the prizes, it's about supporting an important part of the Tampa Bay community.

"Spending money with them because these are businesses that are small-owned, they're either run by a single mom, such as myself, or they are run by family members. Some restaurants have been in families for generations," said White.

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