In the wake of a global pandemic, Black-owned businesses soared to new heights. According to Fortune®, the rate of Black business ownership in the United States rose 38% from pre-pandemic levels. And Black business owners remain more optimistic about long-term outlooks, despite economic uncertainty.
That optimism equates to real economic impact and job growth. Recent census data shows that there are 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S., generating more than $206 billion in annual revenue and supporting 3.56 million U.S. jobs.
To celebrate and support Black-owned businesses, August has been designated as National Black Business Month. This month is a time to acknowledge and appreciate Black-owned businesses across the nation, and what they represent in the country’s continual pursuit of diversity and equality.
Here are some actionable ways you can support Black-owned businesses in your community and help make a difference.
Black business owner statistics
Unfortunately, Black business owners still face struggles when it comes to establishing and running a successful business. Here are statistics for 2023:
- There are more than 3 million Black-owned businesses in the United States
- 37% of Black business owners are women
- 33% of Black business owners start their businesses because they want to be their own bosses
- 44% of Black business owners use their own cash to start their venture, compared to 37% of all small business owners
- Black-owned businesses employ more than three million people
- 57% of Black business owners express concern about credit availability
- 40% believe they will never have equal access to credit
- Only 18% of Black business owners report receiving assistance from loan officers in completing business loan applications
Ways to support Black-owned businesses
Nearly six-in-ten Black adults (58%) say supporting Black businesses, or “buying Black,” is an extremely or very effective strategy for moving Black people toward equality in the United States.
Here are some ways you can support Black-owned businesses year-round, in addition to buying products and services.
Donate to supportive organizations
If you wish to donate to the cause, check out the following resources:
- ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union
- Campaign Zero
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- The Marshall Project
- Fair Fight
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Center for Constitutional Rights
Social media support
Helping to elevate a Black-owned business on social media lets your followers know about the products and services they offer. Be sure to highlight exceptional customer service, of growing importance to consumers. The following hashtags can help those searching for Black businesses to support:
And try #BlackFoodFridays to discover Black-owned restaurants all over the country.
When you shop at a Black-owned business, check in online and share your experience. Be sure to tag the company so they are aware of your support and can promote on their own channels and engage further with the brand by commenting on content.
Write positive reviews
Reviews can make or break a small business. When you’ve purchased a product or service from a Black-owned business, write a positive review. Yelp® and Google® Reviews are just a few platforms where consumers can give shopping experience input. Consider writing a detailed paragraph or a few sentences. that will appeal to the business’ target audience. Include photos or images for extra impact.
Become a resource
When you’ve had an excellent experience with a Black-owned business, become a resource for other shoppers. Contact the owner and let them know that you’d be willing to be quoted on their website or social media channels. If they are being featured in a media story, consider offering to participate in an interview.
Offer personal recommendations
Just how important are personal recommendations? They are the top driver of consumer purchases across multiple product categories. Word-of-mouth is of vital importance to every small business owner. Let your friends, family, neighbors and others you come in contact with know about the Black-owned businesses you’re supporting.
Black business locator
To find Black businesses to support throughout the year, check out the Black-Owned Business Directory.
SmartBiz supports Black-owned businesses
SmartBiz® is proud of the fact that over 60% of the loans funded by banks in the SmartBiz network are to support women-owned, minority, or veteran businesses.
Luv Fats Ice Cream® in Austin is one of those businesses. Founded by Chi Ndika, a successful minority business owner, Luv Fats creates small-batch homemade ice cream with flavors inspired by her Kenyan and Nigerian roots. She funded the business herself for the first six months and was able to launch with a small loan from a friend. But in order to grow, she needed more.
Ndika is a recipient of the SmartBiz Grant Program. Read more of her story here.
Black business owners are a vital part of the American economy. Support of African-American entrepreneurship is important, resulting in small business growth and fostering community.
Visit the SmartBiz website to learn more about how we work with all small businesses.