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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You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

Thank you for the midnight cries. Thank you for the midnight laughs. Thank you for ordering way too much food with me and still just eating it all. Thank you for the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes. Thank you for making bad decisions with me. Thank you for laughing with me and laughing at me. Thank you for the endless memories.

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Blood Doesn't Determine Family

Blended families are just as much of a family as a traditional one.

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If you look above, you can see that have a very large family on my mother's side. Between my grandparents, aunts and uncle, cousins and my own immediate family, we're at thirty-three members and counting. All branches of our family tree have busy lives, so we don't get to see each other as much as often as we would hope to. Christmas is the one time a year where we all finally get together for the evening. If you sat in on our holiday party, you may think that we have a couple screws loose, but there is no doubt that you would be able to feel the love radiating from room to room.

If you look at the picture I chose for my header, you can see all of the cousins gathered for our yearly picture. Dysfunctional, of course, but you can tell that love is there. Would it surprise you that out of our entire huge family, less than half of us are blood-related?

I come from a blended family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Blood does not determine family to us. Love does.

Divorce can be a messy thing, especially when children are involved. Both my aunt and uncle had remarried into relationships that already had children. For the most part, none of us can really ever remember a time when we weren't considered family. We don't ever look at each other as not being related. We never will. Family to us is the love and support that is shared unconditionally between us.

As I said, you would never be able to tell we weren't blood-related unless I told you. Not only do we all look similar to one another (which again is odd, because if the marriages had never taken place, we would just have a ton of doppelgangers running around), but the love and passion that we radiate is unmistakable that we have a bond that will never be broken, let alone determined by biology.

Blended families tend to get a bad rap sometimes from some of the horror stories that can come from second marriages. Not only that, but some people still are stuck in the idea that the only socially acceptable type of family is one where the lineage is clear and concise. Although I can see where these people come from, I don't believe that because there is a lack of shared genetics between all of us, our love is any less strong.

Family is those who will answer a call or text late at night because you need someone to talk to. They're the ones that you end up staying at their house and talking for hours when you meant to make a quick trip in. They are there for you no matter the situation and always believe in you one hundred percent.

Traditional families have a lot of love too, undoubtedly. But please, do not tell me that my family is any less of a family of a family because of its makeup. We have just as much love between us as families with the same bloodline. Blood does not determine the amount of love and affection between all of us. It never will. We will love each other as much as a traditional family. We never look at each other as a mixed family, so please stop treating us as such.

I've said it so many times, but I'll remind you once more. Blood does not determine family, love does-- and I love my family more than life itself.

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