June 8, 2020
Being a small business, Onyx Nightclub knows how big companies have a history of oppressing small businesses and putting a heavy burden on low-income communities. For example, Amazon’s presence in Seattle caused rising housing costs and pushed out local mom-and-pop shops. But diversity builds economic vitality, uplifts communities, and promotes productivity and resilience. In celebration of Black Lives, we are sharing why everyone should support black-owned businesses and giving you our list of Black owned restaurants.
1. Closes the Racial Wealth Gap
We can trace the origins of today’s racial wealth gap to Jim Crow-era practices like redlining and job discrimination which segregated African Americans from higher paying jobs and homeowner ownership opportunities that ultimately prevented wealth building.
2. Strengthens Local Economies
When small businesses flourish, so do their communities. But banks often hinder that prosperity by discriminating against African American and other entrepreneurs of color seeking small business loans.
3. Fosters Job Creation
Many African American business owners fund their own businesses due to the lack of capital mentioned earlier. This means that most Black-owned businesses are sole proprietorships that don’t make enough money to pay employees. Since Black-owned small businesses are likely to hire from the local community, supporting them can foster the job opportunities people need to achieve financial stability.
4. Celebrates Black Culture and Serves Communities
Many Black entrepreneurs start businesses inspired by the richness of African American culture itself–Black-owned clothing stores, hair care and make-up products, and children’s toys are just a few examples. These kinds of business ventures uplift communities, fostering a sense of pride in the people that live there. When you support Black-owned businesses, you get products that are valuable for the unique character they bring. Plus, you avoid spending money at other companies that may not celebrate Black culture, which brings us to another point:
5. Holds other Companies Accountable
By now you’ve probably heard about Gucci’s highly offensive sweater design resembling blackface. While Gucci’s under fire now for all of the decision making that went into the design’s approval and eventual release, it’s not an isolated incident. Many large companies vocally support minorities and their diverse cultures but practice policies that keep systems of injustice intact.
When you choose a Black-owned or minoirty-owned business over problematic companies, you vote with your dollar by divesting from these kind of practices and hold companies accountable. And further down the road, you empower successful minority-owned businesses to implement equitable policies.
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