As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on the hospitality industry, there's never been a more important time to support your favorite businesses. From July 13 through Oct. 31, 2020, Discover is giving people an easy way to stand in solidarity with Black-owned businesses and offer financial support with its Eat It Forward campaign, which will gift 200 restaurants $25,000 each. Here's how to nominate a Black-owned restaurant in Discover's $5 million giveaway and show some love to your favorite eateries.
Discover's Eat It Forward campaign gives people 17 weeks in total to nominate their favorite Black-owned restaurants to win $25,000. The giveaway, which is running on Discover's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, allows people to make up to five nominations per platform. According to the fine print, the restaurants nominated must be at least 50% Black-owned to be eligible. During this campaign, 11 winners will be randomly chosen each week, and 24 businesses will be chosen during the final drawing date on Nov. 2. In total, 200 businesses will walk away with that $25,000 in their pockets, thanks to their fans.
Black and minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic — according to The New York Times, at the height of the initial outbreak in April 2020 around 40% of Black business owners were out of work, as compared to 17% of white business owners. Discover's giveaway gives you a way to show your support during this difficult time, in addition to frequenting Black-owned businesses. According to the rules, customers can nominate "full-service restaurants, cafes, fast food locations, ice cream shops, bakeries, food trucks, food concessions and coffee shops, bars, wineries, and cocktail lounges that prepare and sell ready to eat food" for the giveaway. If you're not sure whether your fave spot reaches the 50% threshold, nominate them anyway, and Discover will make sure it's eligible.
There are three different ways to enter your faves in the running for the prize money. You can enter on Twitter with a public account by tagging Discover and the Twitter handle of the restaurant you're nominating, along with using the hashtags #EatItForward and #Sweepstakes.
On Instagram, you can upload your own photo of the restaurant you're nominating and tag the eatery along with Discover's IG page and the hashtags #EatItForward and #Sweepstakes. Another option is to comment on Discover's Instagram post or an influencer's post about the giveaway with the name and handle of the Black-owned business and the hashtags #EatItForward and #Sweepstakes. With both of these options, you'll need to make sure your account is public for your vote to be counted. Last but not least, you can go to Discover's Facebook page and comment on the company's post about its giveaway with the name of the restaurant you are nominating.
According to The New York Times, Black small business owners in hospitality or retail industries have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, thanks more likely to lockdown measures that have led to businesses closures, both temporary and permanent. Additionally, Black-owned businesses have been largely left out of federal aid intended to help struggling businesses during the pandemic, according to a Times report from May 2020. In addition to financial hardships, Black people are more at risk when it comes to the actual virus, too. According to the American Public Media (APM) Search Lab, as of July 22, the coronavirus death rate for Black people in the United States is 2.3 times higher than that of white and Asian people. Brookings research group reported in April 2020 that the higher rate is attributed to a number of factors, including healthcare access disparities in predominantly Black communities, a higher chance of being exposed to coronavirus in the workplace, a higher likelihood to use public transportation, and economic inequality.
Participating in Discover's campaign is one small way you can help struggling business-owners get back on their feet. The giveaway ends on Oct. 31, so don't waste any time putting together a list of your favorite Black-owned eateries showing them some support on social media, and ordering from them.