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Friday, December 2, 2022

Opinion: Black Business Month has ended, but your support doesn’t have to

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By AZIA ELLIS-SINGLETON

Last month, we celebrated Black Business Month. August is an opportunity to not only recognize, but to empower the many Black-owned businesses in our community. While the month has ended, the good news is your support does not have to. In today’s digital world we can all connect and support more minority businesses.

The last two years have been tough for so many of us. Too many of us lost loved ones. Our businesses went on emotional roller coasters, and marginalized communities often saw the worst of it. As rent became too much, many of these same Black-owned businesses moved their companies entirely online. And so many of us stepped up to help them. We built online presences and sold items across the online marketplace. These niche online communities we created were inspiring to see, but the toll taken on business owners should not be overlooked. I know moving forward, businesses will need to continue to adapt in order to thrive.

As a small business owner, I have witnessed this struggle firsthand. So much of my business exists in the digital world. I’m a photographer, blogger and digital content creator who inspires people to live their best life, whether that’s through photography, trying new products, experiencing the world through travel, or mental wellness. I’m all about building small businesses up together and achieving goals.

I love to help the smallest, most unique businesses reach their potential. The advice I give to all of my clients looking to grow their business is to engage with their customers on social media. When many of us were forced to close our doors, or cancel events, and virtual became the norm, we saw opportunity.

Social media offers my business and so many others a unique way to connect with customers. Whether through Facebook Ads or Instagram Reels, these tools unlock potential and expand reach for small businesses in untapped markets within and outside of our communities. I’ve created websites and project management structures for small businesses, and I currently offer mentorship on social media marketing for free to business owners.

Small businesses have been through so much these past few years. So, as we head out of Black Business Month and into the fall, I ask you to find a new way to support our local small businesses. Connect with us on social media, share our posts, or recommend us to a friend. Small actions can go a long way in terms of support. As we begin to see light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, let’s continue to build up other small, minority-owned businesses in the community.

Azia is a self-employed photographer, videographer and gaming content creator. She runs “The Moments Between Us,” a video and photography business in Indianapolis.

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