In the words of Minister Louis Farrakahn: “Let us get up from the foot of our 400-year-old enemy and stop being beggars and start thinking of ourselves as builders!” We have so much power and no understanding of how to use it, but no more. Here are four reasons why you should support black-owned businesses:
- Our communities become stronger.
It is said that the black dollar stays in the black community for only six hours. According to Noel King, reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth and Poverty desk, “Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries, and footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, healthcare, and pensions.”Research has shown that the economic state of a community is partially related to the amount of money spent in the businesses within that community. We mustn’t complain about our communities if we are not consciously making an effort to put money back into our communities.
Instead we must recognize and learn the importance of financial literacy, investing our earnings and savings into black businesses and communities. Doing so will promote economic growth, and encourage the next generation to do the same.
- Better quality job options become available.
One of the components that many overlook when supporting black business is job creation. In May 2014, the US unemployment remained steady at 7.8%, while the unemployment rate for blacks was more than twice that of whites at 13.79%. Even more alarming, in 2013, 12.4% of black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were unemployed. Both statistics alone prove the dire need for entrepreneurship and job creation within black communities, and the fact that the days of having a college degree being a gateway for a better future may no longer be the case.
The problem isn’t that blacks don’t get hired. The problem is that there aren’t enough black-owned businesses to hire unemployed black people. Blacks can start doing basic investing, starting with beauty supply stores and distribution sales, such as food, clothing and different forms of entertainment. Time is overdue for change, and we must pool our resources and build our own reality. Believe in yourself and your idea, and get a few friends to take the risk with you.
- It Diversifies our options to HELP each other.
When in need of immediate financial assistance, what organizations do black people turn to? Small black owned businesses, churches, and our local black organizations. Studies have shown that the black church remains the most powerful institution in the black community.
The informal financial and spiritual support and caregiving assistance offered by African-American churches is second only to the support by the actual family. The importance of continuing to invest and pour into faith based and social organizations has and will continue to be more reliable than government assistance.
- It grows OUR economy.
Evidence has shown that blacks are spending money making others rich instead of those in our own communities. Other ethnic communities such as Jews, Latinos, and Italians operate almost independently circulating business in their communities, what makes us different?
Economic growth occurs when people take resources and arrange them in ways that make them more valuable. Economic growth cannot be achieved with everyone doing the same thing and creating the same types of businesses.
The most celebrated industries for African-American businesses tend to be achievements in the sports, arts, politics, education, and civil rights. Although these industries have rightfully earned their stripes in the black community, we must continue to tap into other industries like technology, food and services and engineering. Strengthening for black communities strengthens the economy, in turn allowing the US economy to remain globally competitive.
Black people don’t support black business. What is it going to take for you to get Black to Business? Pledge to be active in doing your part in supporting black-owned businesses.
Just think, with a buying power forecasted to reach$1.1 trillion in 2015, if the African-American buying power as a collective were a country, it would be considered the 16th largest economy in the world. Fredrick Douglass said it best, “Who you give your money to, is who you give your power to.”