Frequently Asked Questions


What is AfroLA?

AfroLA is solutions-focused, data-driven and community-centered journalism for Los Angeles, told through the lens of the Black community, and with emphasis on how news may disparately impact L.A.’s most vulnerable groups and communities of color. Read more about AfroLA.

What is Buy Black LA?

Buy Black LA is a Black business directory for the Greater Los Angeles area produced and maintained by AfroLA. It was created to help Angelenos more easily find and support Black businesses that bolster local Black communities. It’s a free, accessible tool for the community created as a public service.

What are the benefits of being listed with Buy Black LA?

It’s free to list your business with Buy Black LA. But, if you choose to become a sustaining member—which helps us cover costs to maintain the directory—your business becomes part of a pool we pull from for content. We select businesses from the pool of sustaining members. We select businesses from this pool to highlight as part of the fabric of L.A.’s Black community on our Buy Black LA Instagram account and as part of our upcoming Small Business Spotlight initiative.

What makes Buy Black LA different?

Google and other sites categorize Black businesses, and there are other online black business directories. Why did AfroLA start its own directory? With a few exceptions, the sites we found in our research are out of date or have few listings. Google’s designations aren’t comprehensive or easily filterable. 

Yes, we understand that some Black businesses have been hesitant to designate themselves as such online for concerns of anti-Black hate, especially following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. However, there are no reviews or comments on Buy Black LA. There isn’t an opportunity for hateful folks to have a place to dialogue. And, as a business, you don’t have to maintain or update your listing; we’ll take care of that for you.

How do I find Buy Black LA online?

How do you define a “Black business?”

Any majority (51% or more)* Black-owned or Black-operated small business (not a national chain or franchise) is offered a listing with Buy Black LA. If your business has multiple locations in the area, we still consider you a small business. We’ll list each location separately in the directory so it properly appears in our search by neighborhood.

*If you’re a team of two, and one owner/operator is Black-identifying and your business aims to be part of L.A.’s Black community, we count you as eligible to list as a Black business.

What if my business operates solely online?

If your business is Los Angeles-area based (e.g. you live and work here) and you serve Los Angeles-area customers, we welcome you to be part of Buy Black LA. It doesn’t matter if your business is run through Instagram, Etsy, etc. If you’re here and part of the community, we invite you to list your business with Buy Black LA.

Does it cost anything to be included in the directory?


We’ll list your business in a basic profile for free. That includes:

  • Business name
  • Website (if applicable)
  • Address (if applicable)
  • Contact info (email, phone, Instagram)
  • Hours of operation
  • Mini map showing location with a link to directions on Google Maps
  • A photo of your business

What Buy Black LA doesn’t do:

  • Comments or reviews
    • Our goal is to deter anti-racist rhetoric to the extent we can.
  • Advertising or promotions for specific products/services
    • While we hope listing with Buy Black LA will result in an uptick in business for you, this isn’t an advertising platform. We can list your business and services overall, but as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3), we’re unable to promote specific things for you (e.g. merch, discounts, etc.)

What is a “sustaining member” for Buy Black LA?

In general, sustaining members are individuals, like you, who make an ongoing monthly donation to an organization. Buy Black LA does things a little differently. 

The whole idea behind Buy Black LA is to make your business visible as part of L.A.’s Black small business community. If you’re a solopreneur or only have a few employees, we know you’re handling a lot already. You’re likely short on time and patience for something else to remember to budget every month. 

To that end, we offer annual sustaining memberships. Using our secure donation platform, Givebutter, you can set up an annual donation that renews automatically. 

Note: You must make contributions in the name of an individual (e.g. owner, manager, etc.) with the business. We cannot accept contributions as the name of your business corporation, LLC, etc.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Givebutter accepts yearly payments via debit or credit card and PayPal. We can also accept checks. 

How much is a sustaining membership for a business my size?

Memberships are priced according to the size of your business. See table below for membership pricing tiers.

Permanent full-time employees or FT equivalent* Annual sustaining membership
0-1 $50
2-4 $75
5-7 $150
8-10 $200
12-14 $275
15-20 $350
More than 20 Email

*Full-time equivalent example: If you have 4 employees who work 10 hours a week plus an owner who works 40 hours per week, you have 1 full-time employee and 1 full-time equivalent employee. 

To become a sustaining member, go to:

Is my membership tax-deductible?

Yes! AfroLA Media Group is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Federal Tax ID: 88-2517496). Contributions to AfroLA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

What if my business has multiple locations?

If your business has multiple locations, please total the number of full-time/full-time equivalent employees you have across all locations. You only have to pay once to cover all locations.

That all sounds great! What should I do next?

Questions? Concerns?

Please reach out to us at with any questions about Buy Black LA. You can also call or text our main line at (213) 536-1760.