Community Empowerment in Action: Ujima Members Approve Loans for Cupcake Therapy & The Pearl
Boston Ujima Project is pleased to announce that we successfully reached quorum on the 2023 Cupcake Therapy & The Pearl Votes. Members overwhelmingly approved $210k and $200k loans to Cupcake Therapy and The Pearl, respectively. Read more here.
Impressive Voter Turnout: The most notable aspect of this voting session was the remarkable turnout, with 59.3% of the electorate participating. This figure represents the highest voting rate recorded to date. This shows a pattern of steady growth in participation by our membership and is an affirmation that we can design and fund our own communities. We are freeing ourselves to do us, uninterrupted.
Results Breakdown: Out of 140 voters, an astounding 81% voted to approve The Pearl's investment, while 79% supported Cupcake Therapy's investment.
When asked why they wanted to invest in the companies, voters said:
"The owner of Cupcake Therapy has been a diligent and hardworking entrepreneur. I believe in her elbow grease, ethic and product. I am personally aware, as a customer, of her need to expand her operation." — Ayoka, Voter.
"The Pearl has excellent food, atmosphere, and customer service. Any investment to expand their operations and do 'next level' food services is worth investing in." — Michelle, Voter.
Commitment Beyond Investment: Beyond the financial backing, voters demonstrated their dedication to the success of these businesses in various ways. Many pledged to spread the word about Cupcake Therapy (82%) and The Pearl (92%), showing a collective effort to promote these establishments within the community. While, other voters expressed their intention to dine at Cupcake Therapy (57%) and The Pearl (67%) and attend events hosted by these businesses, further cementing their commitment to active support.
Insights into Voters' Neighborhoods: In our ballot results breakdown, we have included new charts and data that provide insights into voters' neighborhoods. This information helps us understand how votes are distributed across different neighborhoods and the representation of various racial categories among the neighborhoods.
The top four neighborhoods by votes were Dorchester, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Outside of Boston Proper. Jamaica Plain voters were 75% BIPOC. Dorchester and Roxbury voters, as well as voters outside of Boston Proper, counted 100% BIPOC. Noting that Ujima's membership includes those who have been gentrified out of the city of Boston, we appreciate that this process helps to mitigate against the loss of their decision-making power due to gentrification.
Earlier this year, Cupcake Therapy and The Pearl were invited to join the Ujima Good Business Alliance, which consists of an interview process that verifies that local organizations are operationalizing social justice through our minimum 36 Good Business Standards.
In addition to the funding provided by the Ujima Fund, these businesses will also enjoy technical assistance, business development, and marketing support as part of their acceptance into Ujima’s Good Business Alliance.