If you’re like me you may have wondered how you can help the economics of black businesses in your community. You may have wondered what effect it would have on your community, it’s surroundings and the people that live there, these are the deeper questions to ponder. At any rate I say you should without question support these businesses if they meet certain standards. These standards apply to any business where you spend your dollars.
This is a profound question that has been pondered for years since the end of segregation. Prior to the end of segregation many black owned businesses thrived in part because they were there for the community and second because in many cases blacks and their money wasn’t welcomed in what was viewed as white stores. If blacks were allowed to spend their money in these so-called white-stores in many cases they endured bad treatment by salespeople, had to come after hours or enter through a back door and remain in the storage area while a salesperson brought them the item they requested. It was clearly no way to be treated.
Since the end of segregation many small black businesses have struggled to stay afloat and many have shut down never to be seen or heard from again. This has happen in part to many of the black businesses because the very community it was always there for and supplied services to abandoned them and RAN to spend it’s dollars in the so-called white stores that now had to accept blacks in their doors due to government laws.
Taking into account what I have said above I invite you to consider the steps I’ll outline below on how you can help the economics of black businesses in your community. I’ll also attempt to cover the effects it could have on the community, it’s surroundings and the people that live in these areas.
Helping The Economics Of Black Businesses
Being someone who spends a decent amount of time on a computer and using social media I have seen the massive power it has on those who use it and the effect it can have on a community. By using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all the other social networks people can reach a vast number of people in their community. Now this is not a tutorial on social media so let me get to the point. You’ve either seen or heard of “Flash Mobs” or “Tweet Ups”, right? Well, this same concept can be used in this case, here’s how:
- In your community get a list of all the black owned businesses and the services they provide.
- Tweet, Facebook or Google+ your followers in your community explaining your plans to support these businesses.
- Create an event and ask these followers to join you at a specific business on a specific day and time asking them to support the business by spending $20.
- Prior to the (Black Economic Empowerment Plan) or BEEP as I like to call it, inform the business of your plans so they can be prepared and provide great service.
Now it needs to be understood to pull this off there are a few things that need to be in place or you need to have. You need to have an active responsive following to pull this off. You need to have a few people that will assist you with getting the word out. Believe it or not you and the people who help need to be liked or friendly, this helps. If you’re not a people person or not known well people may not respond well.
The businesses in the community that you do this for will forever be greatful!
Effects On The Community, Surroundings & People
I would like to first address the effects this could have on the people and then I’ll cover the community and surroundings as it’s my belief that the people affect the other two.
The people in the community may be effected in many ways. First, they may have never known the business was there or the services it provided. This makes a big difference when the business provides a service or product that those in the community use or need, ecspecially when you consider they may have gone way across town on $4 a gallon gas prices. This first helps them save money. The second way it can effect the people in the community is by possibly providing jobs. If the business begins to thrive again due to the added business and continued support it will need to hire people to support the growing business. By hiring those in the community, now they have a vested interested in that business because it provides their pay check. This vested interested can translated into community pride.
Community and Surroundings
The effects here are an extension of the people of the community. When these businesses begin to breathe deep breaths of life and employ those of the community, they can now begin to reinvest money into their business making needed improvements. By hiring people from the community it would give the young men we see standing on corners other outlets for making money. This couple with other things would lead to less houses being vacant, less trash in the neighborhood, less crime in the neighborhood and more pride for the neighborhood.
I’m not saying this is an end all be all solution for the problems that we see with black businesses or the black community but it is a start to addressing a few of them.
It is a way to have an impact on the black businesses in your community. Think about the black owned businesses in your community. Usually they’re mom and pop stores or eateries, hair salons, barber shops, hair care stores, clothing stores and any other type of store you can think of. Now, for a moment, think if those same businesses had an extra 100 people come to them and spend $20 because of your efforts. Now imagine they picked up 20 loyal customers out of that 100. That 100 would tell folks about that business leading to more customers and there you have that breath in the business.
Maybe you only focus on a few businesses and repeat this throughout the year. If so, your effort would be far reaching. For far too long the black community has worked hard to earn it’s money only to run out and spend our money with those who don’t look like us, live in our community, have any real interest in our community other than our dollars. What even more profound is these same people don’t spend their dollars in our community at all!
Next time you go spend your money somewhere think about who owns that business and if they are coming to your community to spend their money!
I invite your comments and feedback. Remember these are just baby steps in how you can help the economics of black owned businesses in your community.