Business_news How I’m putting my money where it matters and supporting Black-owned businesses during COVID-19

Business_news

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  • Right now, more Americans than ever are thinking about how best to support those who have been systematically barred from accessing success and wealth.
  • Campaigns like My Black Receipt motivated me to start thinking about how my own spending habits support Black-owned and women-led businesses.
  • I’ve committed to making one purchase per month at a local Black-owned business. This is especially important right now as Black-owned businesses have been hit hardest by COVID-19.
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Right now,supporting the people and businessesthat have been barred from success by systemic power imbalances is top of mind for most people in the United States. We’ve seen time and time again that those in power often marginalize Black people, women, Latinx folks, and people of color. This is why it is important to put your money where it can affect the most positive change so that opportunities can be accessed by all communities, not just the communities have had access to those opportunities in the past.

Every decision, even seemingly small ones like which neighborhood restaurant or other small business to patronize, is an active choice. In the midst of the economic and social changes caused by COVID-19, many have decided to change their lives by changing their buying habits.

TheMy Black Receiptcampaign became popular because people were tired of the lack of support forBlack-owned businesses. As a Black woman who is also a business owner, campaigns like this reminded me how much putting money behind your choices matters.

Business_news How I’m adjusting my own spending habits

I began to reflect on my own spending habits. Do I make it a priority to spend money atBlack-owned or women-led businesses, both at the local level and more broadly? What about my philanthropic contributions or investments? Are they going to organizations whose missions will help create the change I would like to see in the world?

After thinking about this, I made a commitment to place one online order per month at a Black-owned business in my neighborhood, and to renew my regular donation toDharma Seed, an online resource that provides free talks about mindfulness, yoga classes, and retreats to people interested in aligning themselves more fully.

If you would like to make a similar spending commitment, you can check outHelloAlice’s database of Black-owned businessesacross the US orCharity Navigator’s list of vetted charities and nonprofitsdedicated to women’s health, education, and social services.

Business_news Black-owned businesses and COVID-19

Such personal commitments are extra important right now because it is apparent that our larger economic systems are engineered to prop up the status quo. Many businesses run by Black entrepreneurs didn’t receive any emergency funding after the recent economic crisis, andBlack-owned businesses have been hit hardestby COVID-19. Some estimates suggest thatless than 2% of all PPP loanswent to Black-owned businesses. Even more startling, it is projected that at least40% of Black-owned businessesin the United States will close.

Click here to apply for federal relief through the Paycheck Protection Program »

For this reason, I’ve decided to put more of my money and energy behindmy platform, which provides funding to Black-owned and women-led businesses. This platform enables the community to allocate their capital to the cause that they believe in, which in this case is supporting the sustainability of Black-owned and women-led businesses.

Furthermore, I’m in a better position to personally advocate for such barrier-breaking economic support because I know personally what its benefits look like. When I was preparing to attend college, I asked people todonate to the cause of Roshawnna Novellus. It was important for me to advocate for my cause — obtaining my education — so that I could be here and live the life that I dreamed about.

By convincing people to make me their cause, I created a win-win relationship. I was happy because I was able to enact my full plan; my supporters were happy because they participated in a cause that they believe in.

It’s time for me to pay it forward and put money into the causes that I care about. And my No. 1 cause is the sustainability and growth of economic power for Black-owned and women-led businesses.


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