SPRINGFIELD — The annual promotion Dine Black, a program designed to bring exposure to local black-owned restaurants and food providers, returns this month. The promotion works by offering a $100 Visa gift card to the first 10 people who visit five participating restaurants during the month of August.
The program was started in 2020 by a collaboration of City Councilor Tracye Whitfield and the Assoc. of Black Business & Professionals (ABBP). This year, Dine Black has added Pioneer Valley Project as one of the organizers of the promotion.
“We are back again to encourage Springfield residents and residents of the surrounding area to dine at local black-owned restaurants,” Whitfield said. “This effort will help them get back on their feet by promoting their businesses and will stimulate the local economy in return. To boot, participants have the opportunity to try great cuisines and can win $100. Now that’s a win, win, win.”
For many restaurant owners, Dine Black could not come quickly enough. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in business as indoor dining was restricted, leaving many restaurants to turn to a takeout business model. This transition took time and added costs while revenues were declining. It was a culmination of several significant financial issues caused by the pandemic.
This year’s program is focused on expanding its reach. In 2020, the promotion had 16 participating restaurants, and this year, the goal is to have close to 30 restaurants with popular and new destinations such as Dewey’s Jazz Lounge, White Lion Brewery, and Wingz & Waffles. In addition to dine-in restaurants such as Wing Madness and primarily takeout restaurants such as Chef Wayne’s Cajun on the Go, the promotion also now includes online food providers such as the Picky Diva’s Sweets and Eats.
“The promotion has such variety this year. It’s soul food from Erika’s Hall of Fame Kitchen, it’s Jamaican food from Hazel’s Kitchen, it’s vegan food from Garden of Eat’n, it’s cookies, it’s smoothies, it’s something for everyone,” ABBP Chairman David Maynard said.
Dine Black 2021 is sponsored by New Valley Bank & Trust and Neurologic Optimal Wellness Physical Therapy. For more information, a list all participating restaurants, and additional terms and conditions that apply, visit www.abbpofma.org.