The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us, and I plan to focus on patronizing black-owned businesses. Why? Economic empowerment is an issue that sorely needs to be addressed and acted upon in the Black community. The buying power of African-Americans is massive. A report by the global information company, Nielsen, measured the current buying power of African-American consumers at $1 trillion. This figure is expected to increase to $1.3 trillion by the year 2017.
Sadly, these dollars do not stay in the black community. Imagine the impact on our communities if more effort was placed on buying black. It could mean great things for our schools, employment prospects, and the overall vitality of our community.
Why are we so hesitant to buy black? This question was recently posed in one of the Facebook networking groups that I have joined. In this group, comprised of black business women, the responses were surprising. Many of the ladies claimed that they’ve had too many instances of black business owners being unprofessional. Others complained that black businesses are not reliable. I believe that undesirable business practices are few and far in between. We can’t allow bad experiences with a few business owners to serve as a roadblock to economic revitalization within the Black community.
Let’s support black businesses. Buy Black. It’s not a, so called, militant stance. It’s not a slight to any other community. It’s a necessary move to improve the financial well-being of Black Americans. Why not start with the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday?
In preparation for holiday shopping, I have compiled a few sources that can link us directly to thousands of black-owned businesses. Here are four black business directories that you should know about:
Black Pages USA is a printed directory established in 1991. The company’s website indicates that directories are published for the entire state of South Carolina and the Jacksonville, Fl. metropolitan area. Refer to the website for information on how to access the current directory of black-owned businesses, and for advertising rates if you are interested in purchasing advertisement for your business.
From the website: “Official Black Wall Street is a digital platform and database created to give black-owned businesses, black entrepreneurs, and aspiring entrepreneurs a place to shine.” The site’s database includes a directory of 1,000 black-owned businesses.
This directory was created by black business women for black business women. Though Black Women’s Business Directory is based in Harrington, DE, the site houses listings of black woman-owned businesses nationwide. Here’s the purpose of the site: “we are a marketplace filled with reputable, woman owned businesses striving to meet the needs of the consumer by making this your one-stop-shopping experience".
Culsire.com, the self-proclaimed voice of the black community, is a blog site that publishes an annual catalog of black-owned businesses. This year’s catalog is scheduled to be published on November 13th. Visit the site to find out how to get the catalog and for advertising rates.
My fellow blogger, Cicely Carr, creator of Bougie Black Blogger is making an effort to promote black-owned businesses by giving readers the opportunity to nominate their favorite black-owned businesses to be recognized as the top black owned businesses in the United States.
Nominations will be taken November 2-18, and voting will take place November 19-24 2015. Visit bougieblackblogger.com to nominate a black-owned business. Once you’ve voted, tell a friend about this campaign.
What are your thoughts on buying black? Do you believe that buying black would make a difference in the economic well-being of Black America?
Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!