Evanston Police Officer Tosha Wilson had a steady job and a good credit score but could not get a startup loan for her proposed Black-owned business.
This brought about an epiphany: “There is no way that we’re the only people in this situation.”
So, she started helping small Black-owned businesses raise money via a Facebook Group called Boosting Black Business, which chooses a new local business every month to fund.
Wilson asks members to commit to donating $20 a month.
First there was, Chi Fresh, a West Side food co-op, which received $22,000, Wilson said.
In August, the group raised a similar amount for the business she and her partner created: The Laundry Café.
“You come there and you kind of just reinvent yourself while doing laundry,” she said. “I mean, it seems so weird but it’s something we have to do every day, and you spend an average of two hours in the laundromat. Why not find something to get into that heals the soul? I think as a country we need a whole lot of healing.”
This month’s business is Rose Café, an effort by elementary school teachers who are trying to open a book store in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.