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‘People are showing love’: Growing movement helps support Omaha black business owners

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    OMAHA, NE (KETV) — Dripped and Draped is a coffee shop and boutique in downtown Benson. They were open for one day until they had to close because of the pandemic.

“We didn’t know if we were going to make it through,” said co-owner Vandra Caldwell.

The Benson business is now packed with back-to-back coffee orders. Caldwell said that just started this week amid Black Lives Matter protests. She said sales keep breaking records every day.

“It’s been mind-blowing. It’s been such a blessing to finally see the fruits of our labor. I’m just ecstatic. I’m so happy,” she said.

At Smoking Jay’s BBQ on 13th and Vinton, owner Jackie “Jay” Griffin said his restaurant is so busy they’ve had hour-long wait times.

“It feels great that people are showing love. I appreciate that so much,” Griffin said.

Social media plays a big part in spreading the word. Lists of black-owned businesses and restaurants in Omaha are being posted and shared across all platforms.

“A lot of customers I’ve never seen before, some from out of town said they’ve seen my page and the ‘support black owners’ list popped up and they came to see me right away,” he said.

At Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering near 30th and Burdette, the restaurant has had nonstop orders since Tuesday.

“If you’re an African American in this country, this has been a rough time for you,” said owner Gladys Harrison. “People are seeing that and obviously supporting in ways that they can.”

Harrison said they’ve been so busy, they ran out of food Wednesday night.

“It is great that we’ve had such an influx of people,” she said. “We sure hope that continues. We need it.”

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