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The Importance Of Buying Black
Some onlookers dismiss “buy Black” advocacy as something either “radical” or “cute to do” but it’s much bigger than that. The poverty, crime and poor education in the Black community can be improved by the support of current and creation of more community-owned, businesses. That’s a fact. Elections come every two to four years, but everyday we vote with dollars.
Just like hip hop artists rapping about shoes or alcohol with no endorsement deal, Black people give up their power and influence every time we spend money with people who have no vested interest in our community.
As a whole, Black people are ignorant to the principles of economic development. Poor Blacks spend money with Arabs and Asians via corner stores, nail shops and beauty supply stores, while middle class Blacks spend their money on expensive cars, alcohol and designer clothes by European designers. Regardless to education, we give our money away, thus failing to control our own community and making our communities ripe for crime and violence and both political and police corruption.
While each Black business owner can express their particular reason for being in business, the big picture goal of “buy Black” campaigns is to build a healthy flow of currency and resources wherein the community buys from Black businesses who then reinvest in the community via job creation and donations to community organizations and faith-based institutions.
Create Real Democracy: Politics without economics is symbol without substance. Black business ownership means residents with roots in the community are involved in key development decisions that shape Black people’s lives and local environment.
Create Jobs and Opportunities: Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, restaurants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, media outlets, and etc which help in the expansion of opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Research concludes that if we increased revenue generated in Black businesses to just two percent, we could create a million jobs.
Build community: The casual encounters enjoy at neighborhood, Black businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness. They’re the ultimate social networking sites.
Strengthen Your Local Economy: Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (hundreds of times more than buying from an online mega-retailer) — a benefit we all can bank on.
Shape our Character: Independent businesses help give your community its distinct personality.
Lower Taxes: More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses keeps your taxes lower.
Choices: A wide variety of independent businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates greater overall choice for all of us.
Give Black to Your Community: Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.
Increase community wealth (everybody eats): The multiplier effect created by spending locally generates lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents.
Black Businesses Understand Your Needs
We’ve been where you’ve been! All the failed twist-outs, hoarding natural hair products, lauding coconut oil as God’s gift to mankind..we’ve seen it all. We don’t need to conduct lengthy research studies or control groups to “figure out Black consumers” because we are Black consumers.
You’re Supporting Jobs In Your Community
Spending Black dollars on Black businesses means more opportunities for more jobs to open up for Black employees. We’ve all seen the studies about racial discrimination in the workplace, and how having an “ethnic” sounding name could leave your resume being tossed before it’s even reviewed. By supporting Black-owned businesses you are also supporting Black employees who are getting more of a chance than they would have otherwise.
As a group, we have the highest spending power ($1.1 trillion) but we patronize Black businesses the least. Unfortunately money is power, and we are giving away our power when we neglect Black-owned businesses. Spending money with someone who looks like you, understands your needs, and would hire you is an empowering feeling.
To Get the Best Products for your Needs
Let’s face it. Many of you likely knows someone that has a product graveyard somewhere in their home. A product graveyard consists of the countless items that we purchase only to discover that they do not meet our specific needs. You may have art on your walls that you do not necessarily identify with, or children’s books and toys that do not portray characters that resemble your children. Owners of black owned companies have likely shared similar experiences when it comes to seeking out particular products. This shared understanding enables them to be in a better position to anticipate the needs of many African-American consumers. If you want the best products, get them from businesses who understand your wants and needs.
To Know the Truth about Black Products/Services
Some people mistakenly believe that products/services from a Black owned company are not as good as products/services from elsewhere. This thinking is a holdover from a time when our communities had little choice other than to accept the sub-standard products that were made available to us. Today, we know that the background of the business owner or its employees is not nearly as relevant as good customer service and a good product. There are high quality Black businesses providing great products and services all over America. I have purchased many products and services from Black businesses and have been thoroughly impressed with their superior quality and experience. I was very happy with my purchases and I supported my community, which I continue to do. I did not give up on Black businesses without giving them a chance and neither should you! Besides, if you’re African American, it’s your community.
To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
As a Black man, I constantly hear and participate in discussions that state how the Black community must “get it together”. Without a thriving African0American economy that supports our schools, neighborhoods, community organizations, and most importantly, our people, getting it together will continue to be easier said than done. By supporting Black businesses, consumers actually create the economy that supports a more positive future for our communities. It takes making a personal decision to buy into your community to become a part of the solution. The discussion will surely continue, but now is the time to take action and direct spending to the African-American community.
To Build A Bigger Voice in The Market
Let’s face it, money talks. Money not only talks, it screams! When African-Americans spend money on products and services that are made with them in mind, it causes businesses to make a decision. They have to decide to either offer products and services that accommodate African-Americans or risk losing them as customers to the competition. As an African-American customer, you hold the power to determine what a business will do, and your spending is like your vote. If you are voting for Black businesses, products and services, you are making the market listen to your wants and needs. You also get to avoid the graveyard of products in the bathroom that many people experience because those products do not work for you!
To Show Pride in Being Black
When someone you love has a performance, a track meet, or a graduation, you show your support by showing up and cheering in the stands. You want them to know that you care about them because they matter to you. The Black community is no different, and by supporting Black businesses, you show that you care about the future of the community. Every community that has the support of its own people can excel and maximize its potential. Without your support the Black community cannot progress. Websites like PurchaseBlack.com, bfhsnetwork.com, UjammaDeals.com, BlackStartUp.com, and many others are there to make it easy for you. Now, the ball is in your court!
There is no law saying that Black people must only buy from Black businesses. There is also no law saying that all customers of a Black business must be Black themselves. But there is knowledge that the more African Americans support our own community financially, the more they (individuals and communities alike) thrive. We have a trillion dollar buying power that can more than pay for our progress. The only missing link is using our money in ways that benefit our community. With the support of the African American community, Black owned businesses and the communities they support, can prosper.