SUPPORT BLACK- OWNED BUSINESSES DURING COVID


Influential Speaker, Storyteller, Creator of WOWbyChar, and University of Washington Student.

SUPPORT BLACK- OWNED BUSINESSES DURING COVID

In July 2020 the National Geographic History & Culture department released an article headline stating that “more than half of Black-owned businesses may not survive Covid-19”. Moreover, 40% of Black-owned businesses are estimated to not survive this pandemic and the recession following. For those who are experiencing financial hardship during this pandemic, you can imagine how much is at stake for Black entrepreneurs and their businesses. Some examples of Black-owned establishments in the Pacific Northwest include: restaurants, bakeries, churches, boutiques, child-care centers, news publications, lawn maintenance, and automobile repair companies.

Although these statistics are daunting, they do not have to discourage us. We have the opportunity to change these statistics by partaking in Black economic empowerment… and yes, the Black economy does exist. To elaborate, the majority of Black-owned establishments' targeted racial demographic are comprised of Black people. The concept for us, by us, is the reason why The Facts Newspaper aims to provide our community with information relevant to our experiences. I was between the ages of six and eight when the Great Recession (2007-2009) occurred. Although I was very young, I can imagine how difficult those times must have been for my family and the pressure of maintaining a business. My mom-- a beautician, owning her own salon -- and my dad-- a reporter, logo designer, and advertising sales agent, all under the umbrella of The Facts Newspaper-- were hard-working, young Black proprietors.

Even between the ages of six and eight I subtly comprehended the concept of longevity, community, faith, and service. We, The Facts Newspaper, did our best to rally around hope and encourage civic engagement; being that amidst the Great Recession an election was occurring where a Black man named Barack Obama was running for the highest office of power in the world, and actually had a chance at winning! As I reflect on those times I wish that we as a community were more transparent about our needs for financial support. To paraphrase, Malcom X once said that Black people need not to spend our paychecks at establishments where our hard-earned money is not being regenerated back into our communities. We need to create a fluid, functional system where the majority of our expenditures are investing in our establishments. On the other hand, service, reliability, and consistency has to be prioritized within our establishments. I suggest that we get back to building relationships. It's time to get strategic and dedicated about our endeavors! All in all, stay encouraged and be mindful of where you spend your money.

Have any ideas of future topics you want to learn about? Wanna share some wisdom? Email me at wowbychar@gmail.com

Source: Brooks, Rodney A. “More than Half of Black-Owned Businesses May Not Survive COVID-19.” National Geographic, 25 Aug. 2020, www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/07/black-owned-businesses-may-not-survive-covid-19/.