Updated: Nov 17, 2020
by Alyx Holder
The shifting social and political landscape has enlightened many to the plights and tribulations of minority communities, specifically those affecting the African American population. With the global spotlight on police brutality and other issues affecting Black America, many are seeking ways to empower the community through donations, acts of service, and financial support of Black-owned businesses. Ethical business practices and diverse partnerships benefit us all. Here are three ways to support Black-owned businesses.
Get to Know Your Local Black Business Owners
One of the main challenges Black and other minority-owned businesses face is a lack of visibility. Beyond monopolization by large corporations, too often these businesses are often lost in an oversaturated market, receiving disproportionately less attention and support than competitors.
With much of the world turning to online resources for everything from household essentials to luxury products, informed consumer practices and conscious spending is important to creating a truly fair market.
With Black-owned businesses being the most heavily affected by the ongoing pandemic, taking the time to find local businesses to support during these trying times is important.
Not sure where to start? Support Black Owned is a great resource for finding Black-owned businesses in your area across multiple industries. SBO allows users to search for specific products and services in their area or browse through all listings by industry. As an ever-growing platform, new businesses are continuously added for greater visibility.
Social media is also a great resource for finding minority-owned businesses and showing them support. Subscribe to #Blackownedbusiness and related hashtags to stay in the now. Follow your favorite companies to help boost their standing and help others find them as well. Sharing their posts and giving shoutouts when you receive great service or love a new product goes a long way to help in a small business’s sustainability, with the bonus effect of encouraging and uplifting entrepreneurs.
Increase Your Partnerships with Black-Owned Businesses
For business owners, bringing the call for greater diversity into your business practices is important. Beyond creating more inclusive hiring practices and policies, take the time to evaluate your partnerships and service providers. Shifting support from large corporations for products and transportation services to smaller companies helps to support your local community. From finding products to stock your shelves or website to delivery options for your customers, there are many opportunities to support Black-owned brands and companies. Doing so is mutually beneficial: not only are your customers exposed to new products, they are more likely to become returning customers in the future.
Other common business services that provide an opportunity for more diverse partnerships include:
Event Planning and Organization
Property Management and Maintenance
Accounting and Finance
Graphic Design and Print Media
Non-retail companies can also find ways to partner with more Black and minority-owned businesses. Partnering with businesses on a corporate level is equally as beneficial. Diversity consultations for marketing and production can help increase your brand's inclusivity and accessibility to various communities that may have been unintentionally ostracized by your previous practices. This includes racial minorities, those with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ communities who may not often be properly represented as part of your demographic.
Cultivating more diverse business practices both behind the scenes and publicly is a worthy investment by increasing the value of your company and establishing longevity.
Social Media Promotion
Perhaps the easiest way to support Black-owned businesses is through social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all great ways to find local businesses to support; share them with your audience to help boost their visibility without spending a dime! As you find new favorites while exploring your local market, give them a shout out on your social media accounts to help send business their way. Be sure to tag the company in both the image and caption so your followers can easily connect with the business directly.
Cross-promotion may also be beneficial for businesses that are adjacent to your own. Gym owners, for example, may promote their favorite local farmer’s market, juice bar, or restaurant with healthy meal options, and vise versa. #SmallbusinessSaturday is a great opportunity to highlight your favorite Black-owned businesses for maximum exposure. Check for other trending tags that may be relevant as well.
What ways have you found to support Black-owned businesses? Let us know in the comments!