Celebrating Black Business
-- by Jason Evers Roberson, BlackEnterprise.com
In an effort to draw attention to the needs of black entrepreneurs, Frederick E. Jordan, in 2004, teamed up with John William Templeton, president and executive editor of eAccess Corp., a scholarly publishing company, to have August recognized as National Black Business Month.
During the 31 days of August, Jordan and Templeton want local government officials, community leaders, and venture capitalists to focus efforts on creating a more hospitable environment in which black-owned businesses can grow. Jordan believes that supporting black business is the best way to lower the high rate of African American unemployment. "Economically, we're way behind our ethnic counterparts," says Jordan, who sits on the board of California's small business council and is president and chairman of the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce. "Most African Americans are still in a dire economic situation."
"The key idea of National Black Business Month is that redirecting a small portion of our individual spending would dramatically increase the sales of black-owned businesses," says Templeton. The official Website,www.blackbusinessmonth.com, lists 31 practical ways to support black-owned businesses in August.
Here's how you can support Black Business Month
Set aside money for purchases within the black community. One thing a family can do is establish a budget for shopping with African American businesses. During August, they can use the 31 days to determine which companies are convenient to them that offer good service and fair prices, and come up with a plan for patronizing them. For instance, the Mo' Better Food Market in Oakland and the Harambee Farmers Market in Los Angeles provide opportunities to buy produce from black farmers. The budget should include any additional travel or time adjustments that need to be made.
Visit black-owned hotels when traveling. Make a habit of seeking out hotels owned by members of NABHOOD, the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers, when you travel. These hotels can be found in practically any major city, often in prime travel locations.
Do business with other black entrepreneurs. If you're a black business owner, use National Black Business Month to identify other black-owned businesses as potential vendors. This will help create and sustain jobs for African Americans.
Connect with state and local officials. Find out how much your city and state spend with black-owned businesses. "If there are policies that impede doing business with them, speak to elected officials about changing them," says Templeton.
Jason Evers Roberson is a freelance writer for Black Enterprise. (read the full article here)
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