We’re into the second year of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic and U.S. small businesses are still struggling. The shut-downs have had a dramatic effect on unemployment and business profitability. Note that black business owners are a vital part of the American economy and are struggling like others. Support of African-American entrepreneurship is important and results in growth and community opportunities.
To celebrate black owned businesses, Monday, February 1st through Monday, March 1st has been designated as National Black History Month. It’s a yearly celebration of African American achievements and a time to recognize their central role in U.S. history.
2021 will be one for the history books. The world continues to experience an extreme economic crisis due to the pandemic. The financial implications of business shut downs are far reaching – especially for small businesses across the U.S. Here are actionable ways you can support black owned businesses and 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 2021:
- There are more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in the United States.
- 58% of Black business owners said their business’s financial health is “at risk” or “distressed” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 35% of Black business owners are women.
- 34% 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.
- Black-owned businesses employ approximately 920,000 people.
- Black business owners still receive less business financing, less often, and at higher rates.
- Only 18% of Black business owners report receiving assistance from loan officers in completing business loan applications.
Ways to support Black-owned businesses
Here are ways you can support black-owned business 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:
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:
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 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. Write 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, offer to participate in an interview.
Offer personal recommendations
Just how important are personal recommendations? They are the #1 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
Inspiring quotes from Black entrepreneurs
To get you inspired and ready to make a difference for Black-owned businesses, read these meaningful quotes from Black entrepreneurs and executives.
- "Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations." — Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut
- "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." — W.E.B. Du Bois
- "In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." — Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court member
- "Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us." — Susan L. Taylor, journalist
- "Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face." — Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
SmartBiz Loans is proud of the fact that over 50% of the loans funded by banks in the SmartBiz network are to support women-owned, minority, or veteran businesses. Visit the SmartBiz Loans website to learn more about how we work with all small businesses.