In late May when the country’s – and the Cape’s – attention on racial justice issues became incredibly heightened many Cape Codders asked for a resource that would help them support local Black owned businesses.
Up until that point, such a resource did not exist. Fortunately, Tara Vargas-Wallace, a Hyannis resident, and local artist and activist, felt compelled to bring our community just that – an easily accessible list of Cape Cod POC (people of color) owned business; and in the process she realized a much broader initiative: Amplify POC Cape Cod, which is an organization that will promote racial equity to POC-owned businesses not only through the online directory but also through business and financial literacy programming in order to positively impact economic power to people of color across the Cape.
For Vargas-Wallace, a Puerto Rican woman and mother to three young Black women, she felt it was time to implement solutions that can build generational Black wealth on a local and regional level. The website, which now includes the directory launched roughly 300 businesses spanning arts, education, financial organizations and restaurants, is just the beginning.
And although it is her passion that has driven the project from the very beginning Vargas-Wallace will be the first to say she also has a lot of support from her team of “smart and powerful” women, including Love Live Local’s own CEO and co-founder Amanda Converse, as well as financial support from founding sponsors like The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.
The ultimate goal for Amplify POC Cape Cod is to promote racial equity to POC owned businesses on Cape Cod by providing resources that enhance visibility, increase patronage, and highlight their successes and contributions in order to provide sustainability and reduce the wealth gap caused by systemic racism.