Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Did you know that black women business owners are the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the United States according to a 2019 report by American Express. But we face an uphill battle as we are also the most likely to have to rely on credit cards and personal savings, rather than outside investors, to start a business. It is statistically backed that black women business owners are less likely than their white counterparts to be approved for bank loans according to the US Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. Well, as a black entrepreneur, I know these facts all too well because these are all obstacles that I had to overcome in launching my successful skincare brand Renew You Body Butters.
Today I'd like to use my platform to share some important facts near and dear to my heart and shed light and why it's so important especially right now to support black-owned businesses. If you've been on social media at all in the last 2 weeks or turned on a TV, I'm sure you've noticed the worldwide movement that was sparked due to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. Make no mistake, this war on the oppression of people of color systematically inflicted by bodies of power has been going on for centuries and is just now getting the recognition that it rightly deserves. All that we ask for, and have always asked for, as people of color is equality and the same chances as our white brother and sisters for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you have a person of color in your life that you love I strongly urge you to support us in this movement. One of the best ways that you can support us is by supporting black-owned businesses.
Did you know that this month marked the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Oklahoma race massacre, where white supremacists looted and burned the Greenwood District (a prosperous African American area known as Black Wall Street). This is just one example of how black businesses have been targeted by hostile groups, individuals, and even government parties. The best way that we can honor the lives lost and businesses destroyed in this massacre is by doing better in our generation. Use this month to honor the lives lost and living by supporting black-owned businesses. Here are five reasons why now is the time to support black-owned businesses.
Jason Watkins said it best "These businesses are fueled by the community and community support...
. If it's just visibility of their business and showing any social media handles that would be enough if people can't donate." It all starts in the community. Reach out and local community groups and inquire on black-owned businesses, and regardless if it's brick and mortar or online, support them in any way you can. Share them on social media, donate, try their products, gift products to friends and family, leave positive testimonials, refer your friends to them by inviting them to like their business page.
Buy black worldwide
It's very important to help the grassroots movements in your community get launched, especially when they're black-owned - but we ask that you don't stop there. Research black-owned businesses around the world by utilizing hashtags such as #blackownedbusiness or websites such as www.webuyblack.com. There are black business owners all over the world who would be honored by your support.
Put pressure on large corporations
In light of recent events, many multibillion-dollar corporations have pledged a percentage of this year's profits to support minority-owned businesses. Unfortunately, these same corporations have a long track record of making promises they don't keep. They will do anything to maintain good publicity in the public's eye, so it is up to us the apply the pressure on these promises and ask for timelines, donation amounts, and proof.
Donate and crowdsource
It's hard being a black business owner, especially being a black business owner the middle of a worldwide pandemic who is less likely to receive government relief or funding from banks. Most of the businesses that you will see had to close down due to the pandemic are the same businesses that have to sustain themselves out of pocket. Supply chains have been disrupted, the economy is at a low, and at times like this, it is hard to stay afloat. If you see a black-owned business struggling during this time and you are in where you can donate, I ask that you do. If you are not in a position to donate please consider offering your help in crowdsourcing money. It's only logical that we donate those that are statistically the least likely to bounce back, not only to help them maintain a stable economy.
Know the CEO
Many products that you buy from at Major chain stores that are marketed and branded towards people of color have a white CEO. It is important to research the CEO and their ethical practices to every brand that you buy. Dont be supporting Victoria Secrets, owned by Les Wexner (who was close friends with Jeffrey Epstein and other dirty public figures) when you can support Savage X Finty, owned by Rhianna (all-around boss queen with black magic)
edit to add: Les Wexner recently stepped down due to bad publicity but this is one example of many.