With over 7 million downloads, the dating app BLK was created to help Black singles find love. Now it is providing users with financial resources to support Black-owned businesses.
Timed for national Black Business Month in August, BLK has announced “Break the Bank,” an initiative to help Black communities deal with the rising costs of inflation. Through a partnership with a Black community collective called The Gathering Spot, BLK is helping to sponsor a contest in which 40 users will receive gift cards worth $250 to fund dates at Black-owned businesses, totaling $10,000. The app will also have push alerts dedicated to financial literacy topics, including how to grow a small business and how to manage your income with the added inflation.
In a recent study for which BLK surveyed over 20,000 of its users, 69% of Black singles said the rising costs of inflation were hurting their dating and social lives, while 50% said they could not afford dates or other leisure activities. BLK said it hopes to alleviate some of the financial burden with Break the Bank.
“At BLK, we understand that Black singles are craving true connection, especially during these tough economic times,” Jonathan Kirkland, BLK’s head of brand and marketing, said in a statement. “Our ‘Break the Bank’ initiative will not only allow us to bring people together to build meaningful connections, but it also gives us an opportunity to support Black-owned businesses in our community. It’s truly a win-win situation.”
To get the money, users must submit original videos explaining why they need it and how they would use it on dates. In addition, The Gathering Spot is offering users an opportunity to be reimbursed when they spend at Black-owned establishments with its #BlackSummerSpend plan.
“This effort is about being even more intentional,” said Ryan Wilson, a co-founder and the CEO of The Gathering Spot. “The power of the Black dollar is over 1.6 trillion per year, and our work this summer is about highlighting what happens when we concentrate our spending. This is about recirculating our dollar and harnessing it to help businesses start and scale. This is a summer focused on impact.”
Throughout August, BLK will spotlight businesses on its social media pages and allow users to choose from various stickers on the app to help express their Black cultural identity. Over 15,000 users have used stickers identifying as Black business owners.