Arnold + Havas Media Boston is dedicating the latest edition of This Month in Boston (TMIB), the agency’s passion project/service journalism round-up of local events, to focus exclusively on news about Black-owned businesses.
The agency, formed in April when the two Havas-owned entities announced an integrated leadership team, is using the occasion of August’s Black Business Month to urge support from readers. Arnold is collaborating on the issue with Black Owned Boston, which runs an active Instagram page of Black-owned businesses.
Ongoing social activism has put Black-owned businesses in the spotlight. Facebook announced last week that business owners who chose to identify their races could be flagged as Black-owned on its “Businesses Nearby” platform. The company is also awarding cash and ad-credit grants to Black business owners. The viral My Black Receipt campaign, which has people upload proof they shopped at a Black-owned company, has registered some $7.7 million in sales so far on its website.
In addition to spotlighting retail-type businesses, Arnold + Havas Media’s special issue also draws attention to Black creatives, musicians, agents and artists. The hope is that people will become aware of Black creatives in Greater Boston and book them.
TMIB was launched in 2017 by Arnold employees as a print-only, internal tip-sheet about places to eat, drink, listen to music and soak up culture around Boston. It was created by employees for employees, but soon enough, Arnold people were dropping off free copies of TMIB at area coffee shops and via the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District.
Digital-only since April and COVID-19, over time TMIB has gone beyond its original, calendar listings to support causes. Arnold’s partnership with BAGLY (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth) was featured during June’s Pride Month. TMIB has also helped celebrate Women’s History Month, Black History Month and has advocated against gun violence through an interview with the Boston-based founder of Stop Handgun Violence, John Rosenthal.