We Buy Black and SheaMoisture have teamed up to bring the culture the Black Business Relief Fund. After reviewing 3588 applications carefully, we have settled on 20 awardees, each awarded a $5,000 grant. The 17th business is The Bark Shoppe, an excellent business that is totally worthy of this honor.
The Bark Shoppe is a premier pet care facility that specializes in grooming, boarding, daycare and dog walking. Pet care is an $8 billion industry and less than 4% is Black owned although, ironically, minority groomers represent over 70% of employees in chains such as Petco, Petsmart and Pet Value. The Bark Shoppe is a community centered business that uses their space and platform to attract more people of color to the pet care industry and preparing them with skillsets to help them advance.
The Bark Shoppe’s mission is to provide job skill training (pet grooming) to attract minorities in the pet care industry. Through educating and providing services in underserved communities, they feel that they can expose more people to a highly fragmented industry that is growing rapidly, not only in the United Stated but globally. The Bark Shoppe currently offers internships through various community partners such as Bronx connect, Fedcap, Pathways to graduation and Friends of the Island, to help motivate and expose people of color to pet care. The Bark Shoppe informs them that you can learn a trade and have a job that you are truly passionate about.
The Bark Shoppes is much more than pet care. The company is working tirelessly to take back some of that $8 billion pie, which minorities overwhelmingly labor in but don’t profit from. Since Covid-19 outbreak, however, The Bark Shoppe has lost 40% of their business, with their daycare & dog walking clients now working from home. Operating a brick and mortar in New York City, however, is very expensive and the bills certainly don’t pause, even during a pandemic. Despite the excellence with which they operate and the importance of their mission, this pandemic threatens to disrupt business, forever.
Thanks to We Buy Black and SheaMoisture, The Bark Shoppe has just a bit more hope. The $5,000 grant will help the company with operational expenses and purchasing grooming supplies. The Bark Shoppe is determined to weather the storm and we stand with them.