According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Black-owned businesses with employees has jumped by 31.2%. This increase occurred during the years 2002 to 2017. Not only do Black-owned businesses support their local communities by offering employment, but they also make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy as well.
Why Support Black-Owned Businesses?
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Black-owned businesses lack access to capital. This issue became worse during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardships can come to any small business, but the challenges that black-owned businesses grapple with are much more troubling.
Between February and April of 2020, the number of Black-owned businesses dropped by 41%. That translated to having 1.1 million African-American business owners in February 2020 to 640,000 in April.
For those who did manage to remain in business, there was a survey in August that involved 3,500 small business owners. The findings were discouraging. It was discovered that less than 10% of business owners would describe their business as both making a profit and growing.
The aftermath of the pandemic has caused a “disproportionate” impact on Black entrepreneurship, which was enjoying significant growth for the last several years.
For Black-Owned businesses to come back stronger and to create a significant impact on a long-term basis, there needs to be a concentrated effort to support them year-round.
Where To Find Black Businesses To Support
It doesn’t get easier than this. Simply go on Google and locate these websites to find and offer support for Black-Owned Businesses:
- Support Black Owned: This is a website and mobile app that helps you find Black-owned businesses from all over the U.S…
- African American Literature Book Club: This database is dedicated to the many Black-owned bookstores across America.
- EatOkra: The EatOkra app is useful for finding Black-owned restaurants and food services.
- Instagram: This social media platform is really useful for finding smaller, independent Black-owned shops to support. Follow some hashtags such as #SupportBlackBusiness, #SupportBlackArt, and #ShareBlackStories.
In addition to the above, you can use the following apps, websites, and databases to help you find more Black-Owned Businesses:
- Black-Owned Brooklyn
- Black Nation
- Official Black Wall Street
- where Came From
- I Am Black Business
How To Support Black-Owned Businesses
Black-owned businesses are an important part of our economy. In the last 30 years, they have grown to more than 2.5 million businesses in the U.S. Black-owned businesses are positive contributions to their communities and the economy. Here are some ways you can begin to support Black-owned businesses today:
- Be deliberate
Don’t just support Black-owned businesses during the holidays, support them throughout the year. That way, they are not solely relying on holiday sales to survive. Any type of support could make a significant impact such as: making a purchase, reaching out on social media, referring friends and family, or simply leaving a good review. It all helps in the end.
When it comes to services and products you currently, already use, consider seeking out Black-owned businesses to supply you with these needs.
- Use Black-owned business directories
If you are at a loss as to where to find Black-owned businesses, then look no further than Black-owned business directories. There are websites for such organizations as Official Black Wall Street, Blax, The Nile List, Support Black Owned, and Blax. All of these are Black-owned business directories.
Consumers can use these directories to locate Black-owned beauty suppliers, auto services, restaurants, professional services, and so much more.
- Endorse Black-owned businesses
One of the most powerful ways to support Black-owned businesses is to recommend them within your social circles. Word-of-mouth continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools to advertise small businesses. This is especially true since small businesses don’t exactly have the substantial budget to execute a full-scale marketing plan.
Word-of-mouth is still effective because most consumers still trust their family or friends’ recommendations over a company’s advertisement. It’s an easy way to spread positive news about the company and the best part is that it’s completely free.
- Foster relationships
A real partnership involves inviting a Black-owned business to networking events and group meetings so that they can build relationships with other businesses.
This takes support off social media and into in-person relationships that can build trust and camaraderie among fellow business owners.
- Form partnerships
Besides supporting Black-owned businesses by purchasing their products, tagging them on social media, or recommending them to your social circles, consider gifting them with your time. Consider forming a partnership or collaboration with the business owners on special projects to help move the business forward.
Share any gifts, talents, and skills that would benefit the business owner in any way. This will allow them to have a solid support system on their business journey.
- Have patience
Since the pandemic, businesses have had to rise above the ashes, overcoming major obstacles since the forced lockdowns, social distancing, and other complications that plagued every small business owner worldwide.
As these Black-owned businesses try to navigate these tricky waters, continue to support these businesses. They have faced great challenges in an already difficult economy. Any support would be appreciated.
- Know the barriers
Black-owned businesses face some serious challenges. These businesses do not have easy access to capital, business mentorship, or “wealth creation opportunities.” Their struggles need to be heard for the right assistance to be offered.
Black-owned businesses continue to strive to make a difference in their communities, one day at a time. Every day, they serve their customers, providing the best product or service possible, and looking to the future. It would be of great relief knowing that they are not alone in working towards these endeavors.
Supporting Black-owned businesses in the ways mentioned above is a way of acknowledging their efforts and helping them overcome their everyday challenges.