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Instead of buying exclusively from Amazon and other big-name retailers, make an effort to spend your money at Black-owned businesses, because supporting Black businesses also means supporting Black communities!
The importance of supporting Black-owned businesses
Black-owned businesses have historically been barred from capital, loans and lines of credit due to discriminatory practices and systemic defunding of Black communities. Despite being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, black-owned businesses continue to face countless obstacles that put them at a financial disadvantage. The COVID-19 crisis, for instance, has disproportionately affected Black business owners by exacerbating the effects of systemic and institutional racism. More specifically, the Payment Protection Program, although intended to help businesses stay afloat through the pandemic, ultimately leaves behind many Black-owned businesses. In fact, a recent report found that 41% of Black-owned businesses closed their doors by April 2020, compared to just 17% of white-owned businesses.
Helping Black-businesses survive the impact of COVID-19 is only one reason to support Black-owned businesses. Using your purchasing power to support Black-owned businesses year round helps to strengthen Black economies on a local scale. On a larger scale, our collective and consistent support of Black-owned businesses will help to shrink the racial wealth gap, foster job creation for African Americans, and help to hold larger companies accountable for equal representation. In light of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, an increased focus on supporting Black-owned businesses is a meaningful form of economic protest and a way to show support for people of color by being actively anti-racist.
How do I find Black-owned businesses to support?
When educating yourself about racism and how to be an ally to the Black community, it’s incredibly important to do the work yourself. Luckily, Google exists, and finding Black-owned businesses to support is only a quick search away! We’ve also compiled a list of resources that will make the research process even easier. This list is by no means exhaustive, but is a good place to start:
- Support Black Owned
This helps you find Black-owned businesses from all over the country.
- We Buy Black
This is a global marketplace that helps you find black-owned businesses.
- Shoppe Black
A global resource with lists on black-owned businesses, ranging from tech-companies, farms, vintage shops, and more.
- African American Literature Book Club
This database is to help you find many Black-owned bookstores across America.
- Official Black Wall Street
This website helps you search and discover Black-owned businesses near you from pharmacies to restaurants.
This app is for specifically finding Black-owned restaurants and food services.
- Nile List
This is a digital community that connects consumers with Black-owned brands online.
It helps you find smaller, independent Black-owned shops to support. You can check these hashtags: #SupportBlackBusiness, #SupportBlackArt, #ShareBlackStories
Keep the Momentum Going
Consistent buying from Black-owned businesses in the US is a tangible way to provide allyship to the Black community, but supporting the Black community goes far beyond this. Follow and learn from Black experts and thought leaders. Invest in and partner with Black entrepreneurs. Adopt an anti-racist approach to life, in self-reflection and in action. And remember that this work is not temporary – it’s an ongoing practice.
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