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8 Ways to Celebrate Black Business Month

8 Ways to Celebrate Black Business Month

August is the last month of summer vacation, and it’s also Black Business Month. Although the celebration is only marked for 31 days, Black businesses should be celebrated all year long.  

What is Black Business Month and why does it need to be celebrated?

Black business is a phenomenon in itself. Many of the thriving businesses that we see today, from Oprah’s empire to Tabitha Brown’s clothing line, all started from people who had very little start-up capital but an abundance of faith and hard work. This grit is something we’ve seen throughout American history. Some historic examples include Madame C.J. Walker, who was the country’s first female self-made millionaire, and John Merrick, who in 1898 founded North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, which now has assets of $160 million.

In the present day, Black businesses are still thriving. There are currently around 3 million Black-owned businesses that contribute over $200 billion to the American economy annually. With this sector only continuing to grow, Black Business Month is a celebration and an acknowledgment of an important part of Black history. It is a time to recognize that there are Black businesses for haircare, skincare, wellness, sports, and everything else. This acknowledgment helps level the playing field, especially since historic and current discrimination has prevented many Black business owners from receiving loans and financial support.  

Whether you are a consumer or business owner, here are 8 ways you can support Black businesses and celebrate their existence. 

1. Buy from Black businesses

The easiest way to celebrate Black Business Month is to buy services and products from Black businesses. Not sure how to find these businesses? There are great resources such as the Black Directory where you can search different cities for Black-owned businesses. Another great way to find them is through social media by searching the hashtags #Blackowned #Blackownedbusiness #Blackowned[insert product].

2. Share

One simple way to support Black businesses is by sharing their information within your network. This can be done through word of mouth or social media. However, if you do choose to support through social media, remember liking 20 posts from a business’s page isn’t quality support. Instead, sharing their posts or other content will give them more exposure to different audiences and help boost their business.

A follow-up with this method is to write a review or leave a comment on how great their service is. Sharing isn’t just about name-dropping or pressing the share button; it’s about speaking highly of a business to people who may enjoy their service or product.  

3. Partnerships

The social media space is run by influencers, so, for anyone with a blue check mark by their name, here is how to use your influence to support Black businesses. On the blog Fashion Steele NYC, Monroe Steele offers her advice on partnering with Black businesses, such as building a relationship first, offering payment, and considering working with smaller content creators.

The best partnerships happen when two businesses work together to accomplish a mutual goal. These arrangements can be short-term or long-term and can be hosting an event or having a business sell their product at your event. Partnership can also be having a Black business owner as a guest on your podcast. 

4. Start your own business

Starting your own business is one of the best ways to celebrate Black Business Month. If you’re not sure how to get started, try reaching out to a Black business owner who you admire and ask to pick their brain or inquire about a mentorship. More Black businesses are good for the economy and the culture.

5. Support the culture behind the business

There are many Black businesses that not only started from finding a need in the market but were created from a place of preserving and honoring the culture. Callaloo Box, which was started by sisters Malika and Jamila Augustin who immigrated to New York from Trinidad and Tobago, delivers boxes filled with seasonings, sauces, and snacks from the Caribbean. These precious products are great reminders to learn more about Caribbean culture. With Black history, there is so much culture and history around food.  

6. Referrals

Whether you’ve tried a Black-owned hair product that’s done wonders for your curls or know a great soul-food restaurant, referrals are a great way to celebrate. By sending potential clients to a Black-owned business, you are helping them reach people they may not have come into contact with on their own. Referrals are beneficial for the business and the customers. 

7. Connect Black businesses with funding opportunities

Although there are over 3 million Black businesses already, there are still hundreds more that could use some extra capital to help get started. This type of support is often available through grants and scholarships. By connecting Black businesses to grant opportunities and other business resources, you’re helping to set the foundation for a strong and sustainable business.

8. Continuously support

Luckily we have February for Black History Month and August for Black Business Month yet it’s possible to imagine a world where these months aren’t needed, meaning these months will no longer need to serve as a reminder to support Black people because Black people will be supported all year long. Therefore one of the biggest ways to support Black businesses and Black people as a society is to continue to support them all year long. 

Remember that Black businesses are starting and growing every day, which means there are endless opportunities to celebrate and show your support. 

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