What do the kids say, it’s the “wave”?! I may have that totally wrong, but the new “wave” is supporting black owned businesses. That is quite interesting to me because we, especially black people, should have always been supporting black owned businesses. I digress.
Nothing excites me more than than buying a product from a black owned business and proudly touting it. The pride in using or consuming by us (us as in black people) fills me up completely, can you tell?!
We should absolutely be supporting black businesses! As I’ve stated before, most small businesses fail in the first year and black businesses are a large percentage of those that don’t make it so any business you see thriving you must understand all the time, sacrifice and money it takes to keep that machine running. Where at all possible we should be supporting black businesses.
Supporting doesn’t just mean “shopping with”, but it also means bringing awareness to brands as well. If I buy a product but I haven’t told anyone else about how great it is, how far has my support really gone? Sure, I may have spent $30-$200 one time, but what if I can get 5 other people to do the same just commenting about how great that product or service was. You see how that’s even greater support?
So, let’s dive into what “support” really looks like because I've seen alot of people saying it but I'm not sure everyone knows how to do that!
How to Effectively Support Black Owned Businesses
1. Advertise for them – I would love to do paid collaborations with black owned businesses but what many people may not realize is that the marketing expense for many black owned businesses is simply not there, especially if they are a boot strapped small business. You can still advertise for them, through your feed, stories, reviews, etc. Branding and marketing can be inexpensive through FB/IG, I understand that, but inexpensive to you may not be inexpensive to someone else who is literally putting all their money back into the PRODUCTION of their products. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to – PROMOTE THEM!
2. Be a repeat customer – If you like a product, continue to shop with them. For me, when I see customers come back again and again for our products it reassures me and gives me the confidence to keep pushing on; especially on those days when sales just aren’t doing as expected. When you become a repeat customer to small black owned businesses, you are instilling pride in them that their product is worthy. Some need that reassurance, some don’t; it doesn’t hurt to give it anyway.
3. Send all grievances & complaints directly to them – Listen, this is going to sound like I am asking for you to give a pass. Yep, I am. Companies will undoubtedly make mistakes but if it isn’t life threatening or life altering, address the issue directly with them. Blasting a black owned business on Goolge reviews, Yelp or social media is putting one nail in the coffin. Black businesses are not given the same grace as others, that’s just a fact. So once a bad review, warranted or not, starts circulating; it’s an immediate impact to the business. Sometimes it can be its downfall.
4. Give grace - If Amazon messes up your order, you are likely to call customer service and get it fixed; not run to IG and blast them. Please understand that MOST black owned businesses are doing the absolute best they can. If they make a mistake give them an opportunity to fix it. The cancel culture is too prevalent amongst us and it should NOT be applied to black business unless you are positive, they can’t redeem themselves. From personal experience I can tell you, I feel horrible when something doesn’t go as expected with a customer; it’s my goal to fix it immediately.
5. Invest – If you are fortunate enough to have resources, financial or otherwise, use them to help a small black business grow. Investing in a business can be mutually beneficial to you and the brand. A small business can NEVER have too many resources.
As things go “back to normal”, I feel it important to make #buyingblack the new normal. That’s not saying you can’t or shouldn’t buy from other businesses but ensure that most of your money is going to black businesses. As we continue to fight for the reparations we deserve, we must be intentional about strengthen the black community and narrowing the wealth gap.
Do YOUR part!
Love & Light,