July 22, 2022 By Suzanne Robertson

August 1, 2022 marks the beginning of National Black Business Month. This observance highlights the vital role of Black-owned businesses to the overall economy.

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Black Business Month was created by two entrepreneurs, John William Templeton and Frederick E. Jordan, in 2004 who shared a passion for Black-owned businesses and understood how important those businesses are to economic growth. John William Templeton was an editor of the oldest Black newspaper in America. Frederick E. Jordan didn’t have many financing options when he started his engineering and construction management company in 1969. Today, F.E. Jordan Associates Inc.® has an impressive record of more than 1,000 completed projects, including the resurfacing of President Obama’s street in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Access to funding is an issue faced by Black-owned business owners. That’s why the SmartBiz® team is committed to helping underserved business owners. We’re proud that over 60% of the loans funded by our banks have gone to women, minority, or veteran-owned businesses.

Andrew Magnus, Owner/President of BTC Envelopes and Printing®, is a Black business owner who worked with SmartBiz to secure an SBA loan from a SmartBiz bank partner. One element to his success was to get certified as a minority-owned business.

“I only knew one minority business owner. He asked me why I was working for someone else and told me that I could make my own paycheck. That always stuck in my mind,” he said. “A big part of my push was to create a greater minority presence in a multi-billion dollar industry.”

There are two easy ways to celebrate this month on both social media and in person. First, use the #SupportBlackBusiness hashtag on social media to introduce Black-owned businesses to potential customers and investors online. Second, buy products and services from Black businesses this month to help boost sales and strengthen communities.

Recent statistics for Black-owned businesses are encouraging. In the 18 months between February 2020 and August 2021, Black-owned businesses increased by almost 40%. See more details about Black-owned business growth in our infographic below.

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