Here’s How You Can Support Black-Owned Businesses

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During the month of February, we see an incredible amount of support for Black-owned businesses. We get to see dope Black creators, business owners and designers get some shine from those inside and outside their community.
But we need to talk about what happens at the end of Black History Month.
The excitement has a tendency to fizzle out. Retail stores take down their Black-owned product displays and the Black-owned hashtags begin to dim on social media. And while BHM brings visibility, exposure and opportunity for many entrepreneurs, it’s important to keep in mind that these businesses need consistent support after Black History Month in order to survive. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of easy ways you can support Black businesses this BHM and beyond!

The Best Ways You Can Support Black-Owned Businesses

black women in office setting
Credit: Unsplash
Supporting Black-owned is easier than you think. Here are several ways you can uplift Black businesses:

  1. Spread the Word: It’s as simple as reposting a business on your Instagram story. People are more likely to buy from a brand they know exists! The first step is getting their name out there.
  2. Write a Review: Our eyes gravitate towards those with five golden stars. A review on sites like Google, Yelp, Etsy or SalonSeat can mean a lot in terms of exposure to a small business. If you had a good experience, let the world know.
  3. Offer Mentorship and Resources: If you have valuable business skills such as digital marketing expertise, accounting knowledge, or are even a successful business owner yourself, you can volunteer your time to these businesses to help them increase their competitive edge in the marketplace.
  4. Order Directly from Businesses: Rather than go through a third-party distributor, buy from that business directly. This ensures that 100% of the profit is going to the owner rather than portions of it going to vendor fees.
  5. Buy Consistently: Brands become a household name because you consistently purchase them. The same goes for Black-owned brands. Try to be a consistent customer rather than a one-time shopper.
  6. Hit That Follow Button: In the digital age, nothing says “I support you,” quite like a follow on social media. You’ll stay in the loop about a business’ news, sales and product restock. In addition to this, follower count is often an indicator of credibility – it’s something that a lot of shoppers pay attention to when they are looking to make their first purchase from a new company. Following a brand could be a way to help them increase their customer base!
  7. Invest in Black Entrepreneurs: By funding startups or purchasing directly from shops you are investing in Black entrepreneurs. You can find aspiring Black entrepreneurs in every corner of every industry – it just takes a little research.
  8. Build Relationships: Get to know the owner behind your favorite business. Not only will it strengthen the connection you have with the brand, but it’s also a way for you to communicate that you believe in the owner’s goals and mission.

Where Did #BuyBlack Come From?

The Buy Black Movement has been a mark for Black empowerment for a while. It all started in 1917 when Marcus Garvey encouraged millions of Black people to become entrepreneurs and to shop at Black-owned businesses.
In the present day, we are still following Garvey’s lead. The Buy Black Movement has taken on a life of its own on social media. You’ve seen it in several variations on your social media timeline:

  • #BuyBlackOwned
  • #BuyBlack
  • #ShopBlack

Why Is It Important to Support Black Businesses?

Of course, your purchases keep Black-owned companies doing what they do best, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some ways your dollar is stretched past the cash register:

  1. Close the Racial Wealth Gap: Currently, the median for the average Black household is about $46,000, 33% less than the national average. In this country, creating small businesses and entrepreneurship has always been a means to build wealth. But these options have not always been historically available to Black people. When you buy Black, you are contributing to the development of Black wealth and therefore helping to close the racial wealth gap.
  2. Create Opportunities for Job Creation: When you shop Black, you are using your spending power to allow these businesses to be able to afford and pay locally-hired employees. This, in turn, results in more jobs in communities and strengthens local economies.
  3. Spark Visibility: When you shop at Black businesses or even post their products on social media, you are bringing attention to companies that don’t often shine in the mainstream. When you promote these businesses consistently, it normalizes Black-owned companies’ presence in the mainstream marketplace. After all, word of mouth goes far.

How To Find Black Owned Businesses to Support

miirya app and people on couch with laptop
Credit: Miiriya/Black Business Green Book
Finding Black-owned businesses to support can be tricky. They are often smaller companies, which are generally harder to find in a simple Google search. And, sometimes the companies you think are Black-owned turn out not to be. To make things easier, here is a list of ways to ensure you are buying Black.

  1. Use Directories: The Black Business Green Book is a great place to start. The directory has businesses from a wide range of industries, including health, wellness, food and fashion.
  2. Check Out Digital Storefronts: Oftentimes, online marketplaces will have already created “Black-Owned” storefronts for you to view. You can even filter your results by typing “Black-owned” into the search bar. One example is Amazon’s Black-Owned Businesses page.
  3. Download the Miiriya App: This app easily allows you to buy from several categories of Black-owned businesses all in one place. A bonus: it doesn’t charge vendors any overhead for their listings or transaction fees.
  4. Use Hashtags: On any social media app, search hashtags such as #SupportBlackBusiness, #ShopBlack and #Blackowned to track down these shops.

Our Favorite Black-Owned Brands to Support

hanifa design and hat from hiccup usa
Credit: Hanifa/Hiccup USA
Here is a list of Black-owned brands to get you started on your support.

  1. Hanifa: Utilizing captivating designs, bold colors and unique textures, their feminine designs illuminate natural curves, this brand holds true to providing luxurious pieces for all women.
  2. Hiccup USA: Photographer Je’Quan Sailes-Irving was inspired to start his brand Hiccups USA because he wanted to create and wear exclusive pieces that weren’t available in mainstream fashion. Hiccup’s products are currently sold-out but keep your eyes out for their relaunch coming later this year.
  3. Lovello Elizabeth: If you’re looking for luxe lounge wear, Lovello Elizabeth has you covered. The brand was founded in 2014 by Alnika Lovello. She creates clothing that is all about personal style and comfort. Check out their jumpsuits now. You won’t want to take it off.
  4. Shydiva Co: This brand takes designer handbags to a whole new level. These bags are as functional as they are gorgeous. Get yours today!
  5. Bevel : Bevel is the head to toe grooming brand crafted for black men. From ingredients to shaving materials, quality is number one here.
  6. Mented Cosmetics: The inspiration for the name came from the word “pigmented.” From eyebrow pencils to foundation, this brand has a little bit of everything.
  7. The Lip Bar: Since leaving the finance world to create The Lip Bar, Melissa Butler’s products are now in over 400 Target locations. Her lip products offer a range of shades that look amazing on all skin tones.
  8. ShopUbuntu: Etsy shop owner Joslyn Allen makes delicate handmade jewelry. Each purchase helps them sponsor the children at Notre Maison Orphanage in Pot Au Prince Haiti.
  9. Talandbert: Plant lovers listen up. Talanbert are the creators of gorgeous raw mineral geode planters. Their work was featured on CNN, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, NY Times, Buzzfeed. Buy your planter on Etsy now!
  10. True Products: Next time it’s time for you to re-up on household cleaning supplies, consider True Products. Powerful and economical, its concentrated nature allows users to use less soap for more cleaning power leading to tremendous savings and results.
  11. Jolie Noire: Lounge in luxury with Jolie Noire. These unisex loungewear items are now available at Target too!

Author

Kennedy Rasberry
Kennedy Rasberry
Kennedy Rasberry is a Fellow at Complex Networks and a recent graduate of Ohio University. Her work has been published in Complex Magazine, Melanin in the Media, and The Northern Quota. As she adjusts to post-college life, she has been writing about the things she loves (mostly hair products and makeup) and when she’s not doing that, she is chronically online.

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