Chicago Black-Owned Small Business Says There

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Chicago Black-owned small business says there’s room for Cyber Monday, despite past trends

By Shardaa Gray

/ CBS Chicago

Chicago Black-owned small business says there’s room for Cyber Monday, despite past trends

Chicago Black-owned small business says there’s room for Cyber Monday, despite past trends 02:24

CHICAGO (CBS) — Early reports are showing Cyber Monday broke records.

Big and small businesses are offering big deals, including a Black-owned beauty supply store in Hyde Park. 

CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray tells us how her Small Business Saturday fared and the record-breaking number for online shopping in the Midwest. 

Even on her days off, Leslie Roberson remains busy. She just opened Black Beauty Collective in April.

This is Roberson’s first retail store. You see, she comes from the corporate world.

Leslie Roberson/ Black Beauty Collective

“I’ve spent most my career in talent acquisition and I diversified teams. So a lot of the principals that I deployed in corporate, I’m actually deploying in the beauty industry,” said Robertson. 

Roberson said she’s uplifting Black women entrepreneurs, especially local cosmetic brands.

“Majority of these brands featured here are actually Chicago-based,” Robertson said.

With this being Roberson’s first Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, she has high expectations for years to come.”

“It’s been going well, so far so good. I have no complaints, which is always a good thing and traffic has been steady,” Robertson said.

In fact, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said store traffic was up around 4%, and for small businesses, up 3% in the Midwest.

“It was up 3% over last year for brick-and-mortar stores. Online sales were also up. They actually set a record so far, not including Cyber Monday, which is today. They’re up 7.5% last year at $9.8 billion,” said Rob Karr, president and CEO of IRMA.

A big change this year: The number of people using their phones to make purchases. 

“Fifty-four percent of the online sale over the weekend was on our mobile device which tells you just how far our mobile devices have come since they were first introduced in 2007,” Karr said.

Karr and Roberson said while there was a time when Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday clashed, in this day and age, they say there’s a need for both.

“Some customers will come and say, oh I love this, and maybe they’ll see something else on Cyber Monday that they love just as well. I think there’s space for all of it,” Robertson said.

Since the first “official” Cyber Monday in 2005, the event has grown into what’s historically the biggest day for online shopping sales every year. @nbcselect talks to industry experts about how #CyberMonday came to be and how it has evolved.

— IL Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) (@ILRetail) November 27, 2023


  • Small Business
  • Chicago
  • South Side
  • Black Friday
  • Small Business Saturday

Shardaa Gray

Shardaa Gray is a Multimedia Reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She joined the team in December 2021. She was born and raised in the south suburbs. She’s happy to return home to report on her community.


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