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How your small business can celebrate Black Business Month

Black-owned business. Florist holds bouquet  while customer makes payment.
August 15, 2022
Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team
August 15, 2022 | Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team

It’s a historic moment to celebrate Black-owned businesses. With more than 3 million Black-owned businesses across the country, Black entrepreneurship is the core of community growth, local success, and country-wide progress. For Black business owners and their communities, Black Business Month is a special time to honor and recognize these achievements.

This guide will explore the history of Black Business Month and the actionable ways your business can celebrate and work toward an equitable, sustainable future for your community and beyond.

When is Black Business Month?

Every year, Black Business Month takes place from August 1st to August 31st and is a time when Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs are nationally honored and recognized for their contributions to their communities and the challenges they’ve faced.

The first Black Business Month dates back to 2004 when engineer, activist, and business owner Frederick E. Jordan partnered with John William Templeton, the president and executive editor of the scholarly publishing company eAccess Corp. As Black business owners, they overcame serious obstacles in the business world and wanted to share the wisdom they had gained with their community through their partnership. 

The goals of this partnership were to:

  • Impact policy – Jordan and Templeton were well aware of the legislation and laws that have negatively impacted Black business owners for centuries. One aspect of Black Business Month is to point out inequitable policies and create actionable objectives to change the status quo. 
  • Recognize challenges – The economic, social, and historical challenges faced by Black business owners and the Black community at large have been massive. Part of the goal of this historic month is to highlight these challenges and applaud the strength and resilience displayed in the face of opposition.
  • Empower Black entrepreneurship – From Black entrepreneurs today, Black Business Month can provide opportunities for further growth, new ventures, and creative success. Despite systemic inequalities, Black businesses continue to exceed expectations and find success in every industry.

The Black community continues to be underrepresented economically, with Black business owners making only 2.4% of U.S. businesses. Black Business Week is a means of drawing attention to this inequity while celebrating successes and providing support for Black-owned businesses. 

Ways to celebrate Black Business Month

Whether you’re a small business owner, community supporter, or a Black-owned business owner yourself, this month is about celebrating and commemorating Black business and the greater community. Consider the following ways to pledge your support and ensure future success.

1. Recognize Black entrepreneurs

Representation matters when it comes to Black-owned businesses. By spotlighting local Black entrepreneurs, you can invigorate businesses and show your support in a meaningful way.

Curious about ways to celebrate Black entrepreneurs? Consider the following:

  • Host an event – Use a local venue (or your own business) for an event to honor Black entrepreneurs in your neighborhood. This could be a charity dinner, an educational talk, or a conversation with Black leaders about new ways to find success in various industries.
  • Use local media – Contact your local newspaper or television news station about calling attention to Black entrepreneurs throughout the month. A Black Business Month media campaign could be a great way to bring more eyes to Black-owned businesses.
  • Create a Black business directory - Make an impact on your local community by compiling a directory of Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood. A directory helps neighbors prioritize Black-owned businesses by creating an easy way to discover them. Even if you don’t create your own directory, you can point neighbors to directories like the Lavender Book - a community-driven platform built for the Black Queer, Black Trans, and Black Gender Non-Binary communities.
    If you run a Black-owned business, there are resources available, like the U.S. Black Chamber’s ByBlack initiative, to help you spread the word about your business. With ByBlack, you can list your business on their national Black-owned business directory as well as receive the national Black-owned businesses certification. Learn more on the ByBlack website.

Black Business Month isn’t the only time of the year to highlight Black businesses; consider making your efforts into a year-long commitment to equity and progress. 

2. Showcase Black-owned brands

A key part of Black Business month is providing a venue for Black businesses to find success. For many business owners, that means getting Black-owned and made products on your shelf, in your kitchen, or out on the showroom floor.

Consider the following ways to help increase sales for Black-owned businesses and increase customer awareness of their products.

  • Shop local - Black-owned and local is a winning combination. Reach out to specific Black-owned businesses in your area to ask about their latest products and services. You might even consider building a special Black-owned business display to be featured prominently in your store.
    A great example of this is The Sistah Shop, a curated retail experience in New Jersey and Atlanta that showcases over 85 brands by entrepreneurial women of color. No matter who you’re shopping for, there’s something for everyone including clothing and accessories, arts and crafts, skin, hair, and beauty products, children's items, books, and so much more. 
  • Prioritize reviews and ratings – Bring attention to Black-owned products by encouraging reviews, ratings, and recommendations on digital platforms. With higher ratings, products may become easier to find and more visible to a wider audience. Write reviews yourself to boost products and show your support. 
  • Make a vendor commitment – Take a larger step toward supporting Black-owned businesses by making a firm commitment to select vendors in your community. You could commit to purchasing 50 percent of all your supplies or ingredients from Black-owned businesses, creating a stronger network of mutual support and visibility.

Black Business Week is about more than just sales. It’s about fostering a supportive environment for Black business success. The economic gains made possible through lasting business partnerships and community support can go a long way to furthering the potential for small businesses across the county.

3. Connect with your community

Black Business Month begins and ends in the community. Whether you’re part of a booming urban city or a more laid-back rural township, you can stand with your community on behalf of Black-owned businesses.

Looking for more ways to reach out to those around you? Here are a few crucial ways you can play a positive role:

  • Become a spokesperson for Black Business Month – If you’re a Black business owner yourself, consider bringing your experience and knowledge to the forefront as a community leader. Additionally, as an ally and supporter, you can look for ways to showcase Black leaders and business owners through your personal platform.
  • Use social media – No matter what business you’re in, social media is one of your best ways to connect with your customers and community and to spread the word about Black Business Month. Share posts and content from Black-Owned businesses and show locals where they can spend their money this August.
  • Connect with neighbors digitally - If you’re not already using digital tools like Nextdoor to further your local network, there’s no better time than now. With opportunities for local recommendations and engagement through Business Posts, you can link up with Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood to spread the word about this important month.

Black Business Month may be a nationally-recognized celebration but real progress is made at the local level. Bring your business and community together this August and make a stand for a brighter economic future for all.

4. Share resources

Locating and securing resources can be a major struggle for small businesses, but this struggle is even deeper for Black-owned businesses. The national wealth gap and prohibitive economic policies have made owning and operating business especially difficult for communities of color, and despite the progress made, there’s still a lot more ground to cover.

This Black Business Month, you could make a serious effort toward economic justice and business opportunity for Black entrepreneurs in your neighborhood. Consider the following ways to help: 

  • Loan and grant opportunities - You might not be a wealthy investor or venture capitalist, but you may be able to assist Black entrepreneurs in finding funding for their ventures. Atlanta-based lending platform EnrichHER is doing just that by providing funding opportunities for women of color looking to pursue their dreams. 
  • Educational workshops – Give a presentation or host a nationally recognized Black entrepreneur for an educational workshop to spread the knowledge necessary for Black-owned business success. Educational access can be a barrier to expanding Black-owned businesses, so find ways to help by providing an accessible educational resource.
  • Community funds – Communities are continuing to find innovative ways to help sustain the local businesses in their area. Today, there are several community funds available for Black entrepreneurs to investigate. Look to support these funds through donations or drives, and familiarize yourself with the resources they offer.
  • Share your network – For many business owners, your biggest asset is your network. Whether it’s your customer base, suppliers, services, or distributors, consider finding ways to share your network with Black-owned businesses in your community, building a stronger support system for economic growth.

Join Black-Owned businesses on Nextdoor

Black Business Month should be an opportunity for Black business owners to celebrate their success and reflect on their challenges, and with your support, you can encourage a thriving economic model for the people of color in your community. If you’re looking to build stronger bonds across your community, Nextdoor provides a place to make real connections.

Join your neighbors by claiming a free Business Page, and start sharing Business Posts and recommendations regarding the Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood. It’s the best place to gather, share, and support local businesses this August and all year round. Visit Nextdoor to make a connection this Black Business Month.


Claim Your free business page

Claim your free Business Page to get started on Nextdoor. For resources on how to use Nextdoor to stay connected with your local customers, pertinent news affecting business, and more, follow us at @nextdoorbusiness on Facebook

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