The Benefits of Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Small businesses and entrepreneurs have always been wealth builders in our society, and by supporting Black-Owned Businesses, Green Americans can create more opportunities for significant savings, property ownership, credit creation, and generational wealth. Not only does this help to close the racial wealth gap, but it also celebrates black culture. A common goal of black entrepreneurs is to create their own products and open their own businesses to provide products and services that are basic elements of their own cultures. From restaurants to hair products, supporting black entrepreneurs instead of chains and big corporations allows profits to fund businesses that genuinely honor and respect black culture, rather than trying to profit from it.

We can trace the origins of today's racial wealth gap to Jim Crow-era practices, such as redlining and employment discrimination, which segregated African Americans from higher-paying jobs and homeowner ownership opportunities that ultimately impeded wealth creation. The requirements of the Social Security Act of 1935 for residence and payroll information also did not provide a safety net for the large number of African-Americans who were working in low-grade, “unofficial” jobs and migrating north at the time. If consumer spending accounts for 70% of the entire US economy, imagine what directing some of that purchasing power to black-owned businesses across the country can do. Supporting Black-Owned Businesses, in turn, supports families, employees, and other business owners, and also attracts community investors who provide banking services, loans, and promote financial literacy, all things that strengthen economic strength.

Supporting Black-Owned Businesses is not only a means to end racial injustice, but environmental injustices as well. One sign of this disconnect is that corporate and government procurement programs targeting black-owned businesses tend to be underutilized. Black-owned businesses also tend to earn lower incomes in most industries and are overrepresented in low-growth, low-income industries such as food service and housing. Metropolitan Areas and the Structural Reasons Behind Them, the following interactive presents the incomes, jobs, and salaries that places would earn if the percentage of black-owned employer businesses were on par with the share of the metropolitan area's black population.

Therefore, supporting black-owned businesses with our consumer spending habits will help alleviate the need for additional loans or recourse to personal savings. In addition, procurement practices, especially in mainstream institutions and large organizations, may evolve to include more black-owned businesses. Black-owned companies need employee engagement software, HRIS systems, productivity software, automation software, collaboration tools, communication platforms, etc. Supporting black-owned businesses creates & underpins more business ventures than ultimately will empower more black people to gain a better economic and social position. Potential programs include those that make extending capital to black-owned businesses less risky through measures such as securing funds and programs that help entrepreneurs from marginalized backgrounds acquire more skills.

During the most recent and ongoing crisis, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act aimed to provide emergency relief to SMEs but did not reach many black-owned businesses. Economic Partnership and San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development maintain lists of black-owned businesses in their communities. Participate in Facebook groups and websites that offer additional support specifically to black-owned businesses. However, the COVID-19 crisis has further accentuated black-owned businesses and may widen the racial wealth gap. The Census Bureau's Business Owner Survey defines a black-owned company as a company with African-American owners who have at least a 51 percent or more stake in the company.

Tessa Monday
Tessa Monday

Freelance internet maven. Hardcore burrito aficionado. Professional internet trailblazer. Wannabe zombie fanatic. Professional travel expert. Friendly travel enthusiast.