I recently had a conversation with a friend about supporting Black-owned businesses. This friend quickly
pushed back that "my priorities for spending are quality and value. I can't see buying from a business just because they are Black."
I persisted. "What if all things were equal, would you give any preference to helping a brother or sister out?" My friend said, "I don't think it is a good business strategy to expect Black people to support businesses just because they are Black-owned. Black entrepreneurs should compete in the marketplace based on quality and value." I began to notice a trend in the conversation.
Then I asked, "What would it take for you to spend just 1% more than you are spending today with Black-owned businesses?" His conditions were:
- It would have to be convenient for me.
- Quality and value would have to be comparable.
- I would need greater awareness of my options.
This conversation is taking place in Black circles all over the country, with amazing results. The truth is that Black entrepreneurs are entering the marketplace at a faster rate than all others. They are expanding their businesses in many industry segments -- finance, technology, construction, retail, entertainment, sports. Often, they are undercapitalized, and they struggle to grow to competitive scale. We could help level the playing field with only a small shift in our spending habits.
As more corporations downsize, there is a greater number of talented Black business professionals who are starting their own businesses -- businesses with quality and value. They are our relatives and neighbors and friends. Yet, many Black consumers tend to play the "colorblind" card while our businesses fail to grow, and our communities crumble.
As you read this newsletter every week, please pause and take a closer look at the businesses featured. We are doing our part to raise your awareness of businesses that offer quality and value, while making it convenient to locate and support them. We're taking a no-excuses approach to Black economic empowerment. Please join us.
What are your conditions for supporting Black-owned businesses? Share your answers below.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS