LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Spicy Green Book Food Market

Spicy Green Book hosts Outdoor Food Market events with 100% Black-owned vendors. These events are hosted on a recurring basis multiple times a year and directly help the community by giving these Black-owned businesses a chance to expand their business in new markets and fight against income inequality in an underserved community. ??There will be varying food trucks, entertainment, a dining area, giveaways, raffles, educational presentations, and several pop-ups selling merchandise.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Income Inequality

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

West LA

South Bay

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

At Spicy Green Book we want to share the stories behind the businesses. We want local communities - and the world - to hear the stories of the people and cultures that inspired these businesses to open their doors. We believe that telling these stories will enable people of varying backgrounds to get to know the people, cultures, hard work, and love that brought these Black-owned businesses to fruition. Through this storytelling, we hope to humanize the Black community and change the taught perspectives which far too often lead to unnecessary violence and systematic oppression. As people's understanding changes, we believe more people will see the value in Black lives and livelihoods and, as a result, fewer people will engage in acts of violence and hatred toward the Black community. We want to start a ripple effect of positive change throughout local communities and across the country.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Huge amounts of effort and collaboration went into building the systemic racial inequities Black businesses face today. We need an equivalent amount of effort to alter that system for the better. Nationally, Black Americans have the lowest median wage of any racial group and are underrepresented among the ranks of small business owners: only 6.3% are Black. Now add a pandemic. Black unemployment rose to 14.6% in July 2020 as compared to a 5.8% rate in February 2020. The social and economic shutdown of 2020 has hit Black owned businesses the hardest with a whopping 41% shuttered between February to April 2020. Survey results from Yelp show the retail food sector leads the way in business closures. Bring in retail racial segregation in LA county. Combine systematic discrimination as was recently uncovered against Black McDonalds' franchisees. For area Black-owned retail food businesses (BORFBs) and their employees, the last year-plus has meant ruination. Support for these businesses will: Decrease the wealth gap Create more job opportunities Prevent further injustices Implement needed reform Ensure marginalized people will receive the representation they deserve.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

We believe in an LA County where economic justice is obtainable for Black-owned businesses and we intend to do our part to see this realized. Our first goal is to increase the revenue of Black-owned businesses by amplifying their marketing voices. We aim to bring 20 new diners into each listed LA County business every month for a total of 48,000 on the year. At an average $18/visit, the collective gain is over $900,000. Our second goal is to provide approximately 100 volunteers and professionals with skill-development opportunities and grant-funded honoraria, using our partnerships with UCLA students. Our third goal is to build relationships between Black business owners and progressive diners who want to use their money for good. At the heart of every SGB listing is a story of a Black-American defying the odds and bringing their passion to life. Just like great food, substantive relationships are grown from the seed, and at heart, we are planters.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Each event we survey both business owners and patrons. We have record of data points such as attendance, vendor applications, vendor sales satisfaction, and room for input on how to improve future events and things they would like to see at the next event. To date we have seen steady increases in attendance and vendor applications with a consistently excellent satisfaction rating of those stating they want to return.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,300

Indirect Impact: 3,500