4 Reasons Black People Don't Actually Support Black Businesses

4 Reasons Black People Don't Actually Support Black Businesses

And why we should.

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*clears throat* Allow me to preface the following article with the statement, "not all black people." If you are a black person who only shops black, eats black, breaths black, and is all-black -err-thang, this does not pertain to you.

1. Black business can sometimes be hard to find.

In some areas, this is an understatement. And they are hard to find in two ways. Many businesses are simply too far and few between. Although black people make up around 13% of the population, we only account for about 7% of businesses. Studies show that black entrepreneurs are far less likely to receive bank loans compared to white entrepreneurs. Those black entrepreneurs who do receive business loans, often pay higher interest rates. Because of this, most black businesses don't get off the ground.

The second reason black businesses are hard to find is that they aren't always on Google or other search engines. Typing in "Black-owned [business type] near me" can often time be hit or miss, especially when black businesses aren't listed on black business websites.

For the average consumer, searching for black businesses to support can be a tedious job, and with Walmart and other large retailers and service providers nearby, well, you know...

Recently I did a search for black-owned nail salons in my area. My ultimate goal is to stop using Asian owned salons, especially since I get my nails done every two weeks and know how much dollars I alone can circulate in my community. I specifically typed in "black owned nail salon Orlando." One of the first salons to come up was "Nails By Mercede." Granted, didn't do much research outside of finding the address. The salon was less than 10 minutes from my house, so I decided to give them a try. Well, I walked in and to my surprise, it was an Asian salon. I'm sorry to admit I caved. I paid $10 to get my eyebrows done and then had to go home and fix them myself, which I suppose is what I get for just not walking out and searching for another place.

2. When you do find them, they are closed during the hours their door clearly states they are supposed to be open.

This is something I've seen time and time again, and I know we've all been there. You go to your local black-owned furniture store at 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and attempt to push open the door just to find it locked. You squint at the glass to see if you misread the open times or if they are closed during lunch. Nope. It clearly states "M-F 10 am - 8 pm. Sat 11am - 7pm. Sun Closed." You call the store, there is no answer. And because you just really need to buy a futon, you say, "fuk it," and off to Ikea you go!

This is something a bit hard to fix from a consumer standpoint, but it shouldn't discourage us. A dollar spends 28 days circulating in the Asian community; in the Jewish community, it's 19 days and in Hispanic communities, 7 days. A dollar circulates for only 6 hours in the black community. We need to do better.

3. Lack of professionalism.

This feeds into the last point. I have heard many reasons from black-folk as to why they don't support black business very often. Most, if not all, of them want to, but find it a headache. I've heard every complaint from, "they are never open," to "they are always late," and "they had an attitude."

Here's the thing. These statements could very well be true, and again and need to be tackled from within the business. But Fortune 500 companies receive the same complaints and business continues to boom. Walmart for example. Notoriously known for never having enough lanes open and employees who would rather do anything, but help you find banana milk. Walmart still makes $482 billion a year in total revenue despite all of the times they "lack professionalism." So, why are we less forgiving of businesses within our own community?

4. Cost.

Black businesses that sell goods are sometimes more expensive than other businesses. But this is something that should be understandable. If black businesses aren't doing enough volume, they have no choice but to charge more to stay open. But paying slightly more to help black businesses thrive is going to have to be a necessity if we want to create a new Black Wall Street. Communities that take care of their locally owned businesses have an economic and political advantage. Not only do local business recycle large shares of their revenue back into the community, but business owners often have political footing.

Entrepreneurship is what moves families out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class. We need to take care of each other if we are ever going to have power as a community.

Cover Image Credit:

@blavityinc

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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