UNION COUNTY — How many businesses can you name that are in Union County and are minority owned?

The Thumb Directory is a new service being offered for minority business owners in the area. It’s a searchable database that aims to promote more businesses in the area and provide owners an opportunity to network. It can be accessed by visiting thumbdirectory.org.

The directory launched on June 19, 2021 (Juneteenth) and has more than 50 businesses in the database.

Karyl Jones co-owns Heart and Home Realty in Indian Trail with her husband Mike. They are part of the Thumb Directory.

“With the line of work that we are in, being able to reach out to other minority business for contractor services, photography services, things like that will be such a big help for us because we definitely want to support their small businesses and then it will be a help where they can also reciprocate…,” Jones said.

Continuing, she said one of the things she loves the most about Thumb Directory is its logo which is an imprint of a thumb. The thumb “expresses the identity of the minorities in this county.”

“It’s not just for black business owners. This is for all minority business owners so that it’s more inclusive for everyone,” Jones said. She explained that business owners do not necessarily have to live in Union County to qualify; however, it is preferred that they do at least 51% of their business in the county.

Thumb Directory is the fruit that Thrive! Union has produced. Thrive! is a local organization whose aim is to make positive changes in the community so all families in the county can achieve their goals and live a prosperous life. They also strive to reduce poverty in the area.

Thrive! Union’s membership consists of nonprofits, public agencies, faith communities, community organizations and businesses. It was established in late 2018. Within Thrive! there is a Racial Equity Team that brings together people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to work in tandem to advocate for and take action toward cultivating a more harmonious community.

One of the topics covered in a Thrive! meeting was how to best support minority groups through the challenges they face. Thus, Thumb Directory was created as a way to bring awareness and recognition to minority business owners, Jones said.

Currently, Thrive! Union meets via Zoom from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. They are planning to transition back to in-person meetings.

The Racial Equity Team meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

For more details, contact ThriveUnionNC@gmail.com.