The Black Lives Matter movement has spurred many Americans to want to do a better job of helping to end racial inequality. An effective way of doing so is to recognize the challenges that minority-owned businesses may face and to help them overcome inequity by showing support in your own community and on a broader scale.
As a consumer, you spend money, whether it’s on goods (e.g., takeout from a local restaurant, new clothing, home decor) or on services (e.g., hair and nail care, medical and dental visits, home repairs). When you think about your spending habits, you may realize that it’s relatively easy to shift your shopping to minority-owned businesses. Directories of Black and minority-owned businesses or organizations are a good starting point to help you identify, choose, and support these entrepreneurs.
If you own or manage a business, consider going through that same process with your vendors. Are their minority-owned partners in your supply chain with whom you could work? If you’re not an owner or manager, bring the topic up to management so that they know you avidly support it. Additionally, if your workplace isn’t already embracing it, encourage more diverse hiring opportunities at your office, store, or restaurant.
You can also support minority-owned businesses by letting your locally- and nationally-elected representatives know that you encourage legislation that supports more opportunities for minority entrepreneurs, which may include more access to government contracts or by making sure the smallest businesses (with 10 employees or fewer) have equal access to funding.
At the local level, you can support regulations that make it easier for minority-owned businesses to be licensed and help eliminate hurdles that may be in their way. Alternatively, consider sponsoring a business through your local chamber of commerce. While there are more than four million Black-owned businesses, they may lack access to the resources that a chamber or similar organization can offer. You can also help support nonprofits that help provide guidance, support, and capital to businesses in underserved communities.
Finally, spread the word. Use your social media accounts to promote these businesses, and share positive reviews on apps such as NextDoor, Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Include photos if possible, and be as detailed as you can. Reviews and recommendations can have a profound impact on other consumers and can help spread the word about small businesses that may be “under the radar” for others.
When it comes to overcoming racial inequality, putting effort into supporting minority-owned businesses can help make a positive difference in the world.
Infographic created by Clover Network, a credit card processing service provider