As a proud Black-owned company, August is particularly special to us as it is National Black Business Month. Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr. founded this month, which became popular to bring attention to the importance of circulating the Black dollar and the role Black businesses play in helping grow the national economy.
The state of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. and ongoing challenges
There’s no denying that entrepreneurship is a major force in building an economic base within communities, growing the national economy, and building generational wealth. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey, the number of U.S. Black-owned businesses grew from 2017 to 2019 in all sectors of the U.S. economy, with 134,567 Black-owned employer businesses (businesses with more than one employee) operating in all sectors of the U.S. economy. This represents an 8% hike in Black-owned employer businesses in 2018. Although this is promising news, Black people continue to face challenges due to historic unequal opportunities to build wealth, less startup capital, and higher interest rates. In its report, the Brookings Institute cited the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 Small Business Credit Survey revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these challenges. Most small business owners reported experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic, but the highest rate was reported by Black business owners (92%) followed by Asian American-owned businesses (89%), Latino-or Hispanic-owned firms (85%), and white-owned businesses (79%).
We can help reverse these trends by showing support during Black Business Month and beyond.
How to celebrate Black Business Month
The way to celebrate this month is simple: support Black-owned organizations to help advance economic opportunities within our community. This can be done in many ways and doesn’t have to be done monetarily:
- Spread the word. Search Black business directories like We Buy Black and Buy from a Black woman and promote them on your social media or promote a family or friend’s business on social media.
- Write and post a review. Post positive reviews for your favorite Black-owned businesses to encourage people to patronize and support them.
- Extend an invitation. Invite Black business owners to your networking and social gatherings to help them expand their customer base.
- Explore and patronize. Get out in your community and find a new Black-owned business to support. You may be surprised by what you find.
MCQ’s Black-Owned Businesses Picks
When it comes to Black-owned businesses, we wanted to share some of our favorite brands:
Food and Drink:
- The Slutty Vegan - Pinky Cole, CEO, and founder of The Slutty Vegan, always wanted to bring vegan options and food awareness to Atlanta’s West End. She opened her first location in 2018 and today operates five locations with additional locations opening up soon. This place is always our go-to spot when we’re in ATL.
- McBride Sisters Wine Company - Sisters Andrea and Robin McBride have built one of the largest Black-owned wine companies in the U.S. from the ground up. We had their Black Girl Magic Wines on deck when creating our vision boards.
- Naranti - Is a woman-owned small-batch food company founded by Jasmin Sellers who wanted to create a food brand focused on providing healthier snack alternatives for those with busy schedules and active lifestyles.
- BLK & Bold - Lifelong friends, Pernell & Rod founded BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages with the desire to unite coffee and tea lovers worldwide through a common interest of investing in the community, specifically for the youth.
Skin and Beauty:
- Hunzy - Was founded by Tai and her three daughters Naté, Torryn and Xenai Koree in 2015. Hunzy provides and produces body products such as body butters, body bronzers, body scrubs, bath teas and bars.
- The Lip Bar - Melissa Butler started the Lip Bar, a vibrant vegan makeup line, in her Brooklyn kitchen. We are fans of the matte lipstick.
[insert lipstick video]
- Be Rooted - Jasmin Foster founded Be Rooted “to create a space for women of color to see themselves in a place they hadn’t been.” We just love these cute journals! Find them in your local Target store.
- BLK+GRN - Dr. Kristian Edwards founded BLK+GRN, an all-natural marketplace powered by Black women Artisans that creates a community of women who want to craft and consume products consciously.
Helpful resources for new and current business owners
The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. has an array of resources and hosts free webinars to help Black-owned business owners expand their reach. Black Enterprise features leading Black leaders who are making their mark in the business world, which can be inspirational. Sign up for their newsletter to stay in the loop. And you can join our co-owner, Tianna Christine, for her master class Facebook series on jumpstarting your marketing.
Melanin Queen Creative is committed to uplifting women, especially women of color, through creative products that foster self-awareness, sisterhood, and personal growth.