Can you name 10 Black-owned businesses in our city? How about five? Top three? Tell me one Black business you supported in the past week?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail within their first year. Now add to that a system rooted in inequalities and a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Black people. What do you get?
The number of working African American business owners in the United States plummeted more than 40% as COVID-19 shut down much of the economy — a far steeper drop than other racial groups experienced according to a recent Washington Post article.
Starting, maintaining and ensuring your business thrives regardless of a pandemic is hard. It can be difficult for a small Black business to manage a website, social media or a robust email marketing campaign. This is in part, why it is so challenging to rattle off 10 Black businesses — let alone know where they are located, when they are open, how to contact them, what products and services do they provide and or how to quickly pay them online?
I’m excited to see the Indy Black Chamber kick off a new weekly campaign to highlight more Black businesses. I also love that Shop Black Indy was recently created by my friend Bunmi Akintomide to not only provide an easy one-stop-shop experience to identify Black businesses in Indy, but also an opportunity to directly support some of their business needs.
The goal of #BlackBusinessesMatter is to support and advocate Black businesses in Indianapolis. You can expect to see three key elements in this first campaign:
- #BlackBusinessesMatter digital logo designed to incorporate the heart and unity fist to represent love and solidarity. It is circled by four arcs that dually represent the spokes of Monument Circle and the four pillars of an upcoming campaign created to help guide companies through their ally/accomplice-ship journey. Stay tuned for more about phase two next month!
- Window clings that will proudly display in the front window of Black businesses across Indy to help the community identify and support more Black-owned businesses.
- Storytelling series comprisedofa visual profile and podcast feature on The 317 Experience — the official podcast of the Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League — to help showcase a new Black business every week.
If you are a Black business in the Indianapolis area, please complete this form to sign up for this free campaign. You will receive a follow up email and an opportunity to engage in a virtual meet and greet with fellow Black businesses and community leaders who want to see your business succeed.
Please help us share this information and like the Indy Black Businesses Matter Facebook page to follow this journey and storytelling series. We’re excited to flood the city with this love fist and support Black businesses. Will you join us?
Tamara Cypress is a visual storyteller and CSR Consultant with Black Onyx Management Inc.