7 Ways to Support Black-Owned Businesses
It is more important now than ever to support Black-owned businesses. Black-owned businesses are an integral part of the economy. They have grown to account for more than 2.5 million United States businesses over the last 30 years.
African American entrepreneurs are inspiring, powerful, and impactful contributors to our communities and economies. They represent an impressive force that brings economic impact and enormous untapped potential.
As Black-owned businesses have been hit hard by Covid-19 disruptions, our support and focus on Black-owned business is critical. The impact of the pandemic has the potential to derail their growth and valued contribution to our economy.
To help people make a difference, CDC Small Business Finance has put together a list of ways to support Black-owned small businesses. As we move forward, supporting these entrepreneurs will drive change on many levels from local neighborhoods to our society as a whole.
Learn how to support black-owned businesses:
When you support Black-owned businesses throughout the year, not just on holidays, it helps stabilize communities and create more opportunities for ownership, meaningful savings, credit building, and generational wealth.
It’s important to be intentional about supporting Black business owners all year long so they aren’t just relying on holiday sales. Whether it’s making a purchase, referring family and friends, engaging on social media, or leaving a positive review, any kind of support helps.
At the same time, you can be intentional about what businesses you are supporting. From coffee shops and restaurants to your local mechanic, doctor, gym, dentist, lawyer, accountant, real estate broker and more, there are a multitude of ways to support Black-owned businesses. Think about what services and products you use and consider seeking out a Black-owned business for your needs.
DID YOU KNOW:
Black women are the largest group of minority entrepreneurs in the country?
Black-owned business directories
If you are looking to find local Black-owned shops and aren’t sure where to start, try looking on Black-owned business directories. Websites and organizations such as Blax, Official Black Wall Street, The Nile List and Support Black Owned are all Black-Owned business directories.
These sites make it easy for consumers to search for Black-owned auto services, beauty suppliers, fitness centers, restaurants, professional services and more that are in their area. If you are ready to incorporate Black-owned products and services into your daily life, these directories will help you do just that.
Recommend Black-owned businesses
One great and effective way to support Black-owned small businesses is to share them with your social circles. Word of mouth marketing is very important for small businesses as they may not have the budget for a comprehensive marketing plan.
Customer referrals make a huge impact on consumer buying, because people are more likely to trust family or friend recommendations over a brand’s advertisement. It’s a great way to spread the word about your favorite Black-owned business – plus it’s easy and free!
The more people who are aware of the importance of supporting a hard-working, Black-owned small business, the better.
In order to truly support black business owners, it’s all about building relationships with them. True partnership looks like taking the time to get to know their story and how they got to where they are today – not just tagging them on social media.
While it’s important to tag Black-owned businesses on social media, many owners are looking for supporters who truly believe in them and their business’s mission and values. They are looking for people to network with and get to know, not someone who is a one-and-done supporter.
At the same time, if you are a fellow business owner, invite them to your networking events and group meetings. This is a great way to help them build relationships with other businesses and expand their customer reach.
Understand the barriers
It’s important that individuals and organizations are able to see and understand the barriers that block the very support that Black-owned businesses need.
From access to capital to cash flow to wealth creation opportunities to business advising to the support needed to scale their enterprises, Black business owners face many uphill challenges.
Allies should intentionally listen to black entrepreneurs’ needs and challenges and look for ways to offset the marginalization of Black-owned businesses. The barriers are real, and it’s only when we recognize and understand them that we can call them out and advocate for change.
Partner with Black-owned companies
Other than spending your money with Black-owned businesses and organizations, you can also give them your time. Making a personal connection with owners and coming up with ways to collaborate or partner on projects can be a great help.
If you have expertise, technical skills, learned experiences, or a network that can be beneficial to a business owner, reach out to them and share your resources.
Access to a diverse range of resources, networks, and potential partners can help the success of Black-owned businesses. It helps them become more innovative and have a strong support system that is with them every step of the way.
Customers of small businesses will also need to be a bit more patient as many businesses are still learning how to adapt their marketing, sales, and customer service strategies since the pandemic.
There will most likely be roadblocks for Black-owned businesses to tackle this year and it will be beneficial to them if their customers are patient as they work through those challenges.
Do what you can to support Black-owned small businesses throughout the year while understanding they are trying their best to work through the unprecedented challenges created by the pandemic.