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Northeast Ohio nonprofit helps to support local black retailers on Small Business Saturday

Posted at 1:01 PM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 13:01:11-05

Today is small business Saturday, a day local shops depend on. After all of the doorbuster deals at the big stores on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is the one day of the year dedicated to encouraging the community to shop small.

One local entrepreneur asking the community to spend locally but also give back at the same time.

LaRese Purnell is the founder of the non-profit 'The Real Black Friday,' and has been supporting small black businesses for more than five years. Black business owners are a group that's been unrepresented for decades. One in 5 black-owned businesses closes within the first year of opening due to a lack of resources, which is why Purnell gives them financial and marketing tools, branding advice and more.

Today he's asking Northeast Ohio to give back by participating with a toy drive. Ten businesses will be collecting toys for kids staying at local homeless shelters. Purnell says the idea came from his own personal experience and that's why he wants to encourage others to give back.

“Growing up I actually experienced being homeless and I remember standing in line waiting to get a free coat, waiting to get a toy and in some cases and some years that was the only toy I got," he said.

The last day to donate will be Dec. 9 and kids will receive their toys on Dec. 15.

You read more about The Real Black Friday on their Instagram and Facebook pages.