After weeks of protests, many Americans have stepped back and are asking themselves some serious questions. Specifically, “What can I do differently”? If you are one of the many wondering how you can make a difference and create lasting change to reduce long-standing racial disparities, one easiest ways to get started is to support black-owned businesses.
While this might seem like a small piece of a massive puzzle, it is something that can make a big impact, especially if it is something people continue to do long after the spotlight has lifted from the issue. Here are a few tips that will hopefully give you some ideas on how to get started:
- Find out what challenges black-owned businesses face
Were you aware that black women business owners are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. today? However, according to a 2019 report by American Express, they face a pretty steep uphill battle. Research shows that they are more likely to rely on credit cards and personal savings than outside investors when it comes to launching their business. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency also revealed that they are more likely to be denied a bank loan.
COVID-19 has also created a new set of challenges. The $2.2 trillion set aside through the CARES Act to provide small businesses with much needed funds has been called out for not supporting black-owned business owners. An estimated 90 percent of black-owned companies were either considered ineligible for the funds or completely denied loans. This challenge presents an opportunity to address obstacles like this to provide black-owned businesses with more opportunities, tools and resources.
- Seek out black-owned businesses
Since the protests began and more attention has been given to the issues at hand, crowd-sourced lists of black-owned businesses have been circulating the internet and social media. These lists include everything from clothing brands to donut shops. Twitter and Instagram have made it easy to find such lists, and Washington D.C. Economic Partnership and the Central Ohio African-American Chamber of Commerce are also actively maintaining lists of black-owned businesses.
Other websites and apps consumers can use to find black-owned businesses include: Black-Owned Brooklyn, WeBuyBlack, Black Nation, Official Black Wall Street, WhereU Came From, I Am Black Business, The Nile List and EatOkra. The aim of all of these resources is to encourage consumers to find new and innovative ways to normalize buying black in people’s daily routine.
- Make a commitment to change your buying habits
Unfortunately, the protests have also led to much suffering and destruction in many cities, as some protestors have resorted to looting. Black-owned businesses are among these businesses. The best way you can help these entrepreneurs and any others harmed during protests is to find ways to give them a quick infusion of cash. For example, consider buying gift cards from them whenever you can. Any purchase you make will help them boost cash flow and get back on track.
If your black-owned business is in need of funding, FAM provides flexible business funding that allow business owners to avoid strict credit requirements, long wait times for funding, complicated contracts and extensive documentation. Get the funds you need in as little as 72 hours to cover expenses and payroll during these difficult times, while also avoiding fixed monthly payments.