How to Support Black-Owned Businesses in Black History Month, and Beyond
Photo from a Guidance Whiskey Event - taken in April 2019!
There are many reasons to support Black-owned businesses. Doing so helps narrow the racial wealth gap, create jobs, improve local economies, and celebrate Black culture and communities. Also, you're missing out on a whole treasure trove of great products if you aren't shopping Black-owned!
Between May and July of 2020, searches for Black-owned businesses soared in the wake of international protests for Black lives. However, supporting Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs is something you can do any day, not just during Black History Month. So, we want to give you all some tools to help find, support, and invest in Black-owned businesses and communities all year round.
Check out a Black-Owned Business Directory
Do you want to support black-owned businesses but don’t know where to start? Luckily, there are several different business directories for you to choose from.
Official Black Wall Street is the largest platform out there that allows you to search by category and location and even has an app to make it even easier to find a black-owned business. Founder Mandy Bowman’s mission is to help empower the Black community through economics and ownership.
Shoppe Black is a lifestyle company celebrating Black culture and entrepreneurship with the mission of encouraging community investment. They have loads of interesting articles and news so you can form a more intimate and informed understanding of different Black figureheads and business owners.
There’s also WeBuyBlack, which is an online marketplace for Black-owned businesses. They encourage customers to think of Black-owned businesses even when it comes to everyday essentials like toothpaste, trash bags, or even lightbulbs!
Yelp and Google have also made it much easier for consumers to find Black-owned businesses. Yelp allows businesses to mark themselves as Black-owned, and Google also allows a similar function on their Google Business Profile, as well as a number of other resources.
On a more local scale, directories such as Cocoapreneur in Pittsburgh and Black-Owned Brooklyn help connect customers in their area with Black-owned businesses. These directories are extremely valuable to local economies, especially if you're looking to discover new and emerging businesses right in your backyard.
Eat at Black-Owned Businesses
Maybe you already have a favorite Black-owned restaurant that you’re a regular at. Maybe you’re looking to branch out!
Not only are there Black-owned business directories like we’ve shown above, but there are also mobile apps to help you find yummy food too! EatOkra is a food business directory app that means to use its platform to open up conversations on the importance of Black-owned businesses and spaces. GotSoul is another app that connects you to 4,300+ African-inspired restaurants and also offers events and digital deals.
Drink Black Is Beautiful Beer
You may be able to support the Black community even while sipping on a brew at your favorite taproom! The Black Is Beautiful beer is “a collaborative effort to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily.”
Started by Weathered Souls Brewing Company, the Black Is Beautiful beer recipe has been shared by breweries all around the world, who put their own spin on it and sell it, sending all the proceeds to local charities that work to address police brutality and help legal funds for those who have been wronged. Abjuration Brewing Co., a Honeycomb alum, is just one of over 1,200 breweries who’ve developed a Black Is Beautiful Beer.
Invest in Black-owned businesses
Sure, you can buy stuff from Black-owned businesses (and we sure hope you do!), but did you know you can also invest in them?
Honeycomb’s platform allows you to invest as little as $100 in any live campaign we’ve got going on. So far, we’ve been able to invest over $3 million in locally-owned businesses, 24% of which are minority-owned.
One of the beautiful things about investing in Black-owned businesses is that often they lift each other up in the process.
Jason Ridgel, the owner of Guidance Whiskey, one of our current campaigns, prides himself in uplifting other minority-owned spirits businesses and increasing representation of Black-owned businesses across all sectors.
Another example is that of UnBar Cafe and Squash the Beef Catering in Cleveland, for example. UnBar, a “well-being” cafe in Cleveland, had a successful Honeycomb campaign, and soon after Squash the Beef, a vegan catering company, had their own campaign as well. UnBar now sells some of Squash the Beef’s offerings in their cafe, helping both businesses out in the process.
Support Black-owned businesses, today and every day
By shopping Black-owned businesses, you’re helping support community investment, job creation, and Black community wealth. We hope you use these tools to find your new favorite small business and uplift the community at the same time!
Check out some of our live campaigns and invest in some Black-owned businesses seeking to grow here: https://www.honeycombcredit.com/invest