It’s our favorite time of the year to help our brothers and sisters who are entrepreneurs. It’s all about spending Black dollars wisely. Especially around the holiday shopping season. Where are you planning to shop this year? There is something to be said about how Black Americans financially invest into the American economy. Do you shop in your local grocery store or do you prefer the local Target? Here’s an even darker question, what if Amazon and Walmart combined forces? Would any other retailer of goods be able to compete? This would hypothetically apply to both minority-owned businesses and white-owned brands. There is a way to stave off this type of spending behavior. Shop Black. As hashtag-able as it sounds, it is our only defense, along with our political voting power, the way to level the equity playing field is to spend Black dollars in Black communities.
At the very least, supporting Black and Brown business presents an opportunity for the descendants of slavery to create their reparations. With the ease, access, and safety of online shopping platforms, our patronage of Black-owned retailers can be massive. Here’s your 2021 online shoppers guide.
Well makes sense to plug myself, that’s the Jay-Z in me, you can find my first e-book about motivation on Amazon here:
Full disclosure on my end as a self-publisher, Amazon takes a percentage of my sales for operational costs. I recently walked into a local bookstore in Brooklyn, New York where the owner was a 50-something-year-old Black woman. She had just dropped off her grandson and had just begun opening the shop, it was around 3 pm. I asked her if I could sit and write in there too which she responded, yes honey, would you like some tea? I didn’t need to work right at that moment but I wanted to know if I could visit again in the future. I told her I was working on my second leadership book but was struggling to find quiet spaces to work during the pandemic. We spoke for a while and then she asked me where she could find any of my previous work. I said Amazon. It was as if I had said oh it’s in hell and you need to ask Lucifer to find it for you. She said, “Amazon is the devil.” I wasn’t in the headspace to debate, argue, or even ask her what she meant by that but I always hated when someone asks me about my art and they respond with something antipathetic. Here’s the issue, launching a business with sweat equity, a term coined by Mark Cuban, one of the main investors on shark tank, means that you are funding every aspect of the business yourself. Mark Cuban isn’t Black. He says that Black entrepreneurs may need to work harder and longer but everything that you do for yourself has value, and value grows. I understood where this small business shop owner was coming from. She wanted to promote the importance of local bookstores helping to harness community spending to support local novelists, essayists, and authors like myself. This article is also meant to highlight the prominence of Black spending in communities across America. In reality, most Black people shop on Amazon because of its convenience.
BOOKS LIST CONT’D
Black and Brown girls are socialized to hide away from the sun to maintain or have a fairer complexion, rather than seeking out the sun as a nutrient. #SunFlowerChild changes this narrative by celebrating Black girlhood and tackling colorism.
BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
In 1972, Liberty Bank and Trust Company was chartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a focus on service, integrity, and a sincere interest in community and business development. Nearly five decades later, Liberty Bank and Trust has approximately $965 million in assets and branches in 9 states making it one of the largest African American-owned financial institutions in the United States.
Liberty Bank established its Baton Rouge presence in 1994 and opened a third branch in 2004. Liberty then moved into Mississippi in 2003, acquiring First American Bank in Jackson. This was followed by expansion into the Greater Kansas City market with the acquisition of Douglass bank in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, in 2008.
EnrichHER connects pre-qualified companies led by women and founders of color to capital, coaching, and community so they can take their businesses to new heights.
Unity National Bank, originally founded in 1963 and later chartered in 1985, is the only African-American-owned banking institution in Texas. In February 1989, through a series of transactions and diligent efforts, it was acquired from Bay Bancshares by local minority leaders. Dr. Kase Lawal, Chairman & CEO of Erin Energy, serves as Chairman of the Board.
ARCHITECTURE & MANUFACTURERS
The Sweetest Gems, LLC is a homemade family company where we take pride in our products being 100% organic. That means no paraffins, phthalate, and animal cruelty guaranteed. Every gemstone is certified and has been charged in the moonlight before being placed in each candle.
TAG Holdings, LLC, owns companies whose products and services help customers control costs, optimize operational efficiencies, improve margins and increase cash flow.
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr. born in Topeka, Kansas, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math and Engineering. He subsequently received two master’s degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Anderson attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. Mr. Anderson received an Honorary Doctor of Management Degree from Kettering University and an Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science Degree from Central Michigan University. In May 2016, Mr. Anderson received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the United States Military Academy at West Point, honoring him for his lifetime of achievement.
Born and raised in Haiti, Sheila Noël found herself gravitating towards arts and craftsmanship at a very young age. Matching that with practical agronomy and construction skills that she learned from her Father throughout her teenage years, she grew up with an appreciation of applied design.
CARD GAMES & DIGITAL GAMES
#CULTURETAGS – The spirited and popular game that will test just how well you know the culture. If you know what WHHW means, then you’ve just played CultureTags!
Forbes reported in September 2020, that the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt Black-owned businesses a tough hand. Stifled by stay-at-home orders, on-again-off-again store closures, and stricter occupancy limits, many businesses are struggling to outlast the seemingly unending virus outbreak. Black-owned stores have experienced the greatest decline this year, plummeting from 1.1 million businesses in February to 640,000 in April—a 41% drop. Social media giants like Tik Tok and Facebook have also done their part, so to say, in uplifting Black businesses in the wake of the national protests that ensued after the murder of Breonna Taylor in March of 2020 and George Floyd in May by creating platform initiatives like #BlackBusinessMonth and #BUYBlackFriday.
This Black Friday, Google has partnered with the US Black Chambers to re-imagine the busiest shopping day of the year as ‘Black-Owned Friday’ with an interactive campaign featuring Grammy-winning rapper T-Pain and singer Normani. The campaign is in its second year. According to Google “66% of consumers who actively support Black-owned businesses say they use digital tools to find them,” with the tech giant emphasizing that “this holiday season – and throughout the year – search, shop, and support Black-owned.” Find out how to support local black businesses via Google search (https://smallbusiness.withgoogle.com/black-owned-friday )
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Changing Lives at Home Mental Health Inc.(CLHMH) is a state-licensed and approved Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (PRP) which services children and adults in Baltimore City/County areas. Our agency prides itself in consistently striving for excellence and implementing best practices daily. Quality assurance and providing exceptional service are of utmost importance at CLHMS. CLHMHS is staffed with licensed professionals who understand the difficulties our clients face in their everyday lives and are committed to providing outstanding rehabilitative services.
MasterBill’D, LLC is a network of dental billing/team building professionals that are passionate and committed to serving our dental clients and their practices with outsourced services. Our firm is dedicated to helping dental practices become more efficient and save money by allowing them to outsource their insurance processing and billing needs through our expert billing service. We promise to convert appointments into claims and billing into revenue that is rightfully owed to our clients.
There are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. But only a fraction of them survive. Twenty percent of small businesses fail by the first year, 30% by the second, 50% by the fifth, and by the 10th year, a staggering 70% of businesses have shut off their lights. For minorities, the numbers can be even more daunting. Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months. Covid-19 has exacerbated some of the issues facing the Black community. African American entrepreneurs have had to close their doors at more than twice the rate of their White counterparts. Black-owned businesses declined by 41% between February and April 2020, compared with a 17% decline among White-owned businesses.
Today is small business Saturday. I gathered this information from a handful of online Black-owned business directories. The scantiness distribution of reparations explains why we own so little. We can work for white-owned companies, take hefty salaries, and build back our communities by innovating new spending behaviors. Homeownership is not the only way to create Black wealth in 2022.