Invest in Black-Owned Businesses by Supporting Their Passions

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Invest in Black-Owned Businesses by Supporting Their Passions

Invest in Black-Owned Businesses by Supporting Their Passions 

 

As a Black business owner, I know the value of bringing more visibility and support toward Black-owned businesses. While I’m grateful for Black Business Month offering national exposure to help put black-owned businesses on a level playing field, we need to continue to strive for lasting economic equity and equality. As August comes to an end, I encourage you to keep that same energy, and support Black-owned businesses all year long. 

 

As of 2021, there are roughly 590,0000 small businesses in Arizona, but only 20% are owned by minorities. And according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41% of Black-owned businesses have permanently closed due to the pandemic. With the resurgence of the delta variant, intentional support of Black business owners is more important than ever.

 

My journey as a business owner started when I realized the Black community is at the top of many lists for health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure, which is a big factor in how African Americans are disproportionately affected by viruses like COVID-19.

When launching GreenDesert.org, a business dedicated to making a self-sufficient lifestyle with zero waste more practical, we asked ourselves, “How can our family become more sustainable and healthy?” The answer required us to experiment. Our home became a lab, and we’ve shared our process — from the early beginning to now — with our community online.  

 

We started by producing videos to share across social media, highlighting simple ways for everyday people to be more sustainable, like organic gardening tips, how to build a solar oven or secure free seeds. Throughout our journey of success, failure, and discovery, we’ve always shared our insights with local communities across Arizona. We’ve produced viral videos, like documenting the process of building an off-grid shipping container home, that helped our page grow to nearly 5 million views. 

Because of the large following we built on social media, our Facebook ‘Shop’ has been a useful tool in helping customers easily find and purchase our organic vegetable seeds, t-shirts and other products. Through this digital shop, we’ve been able to reach new customers across the state, helping more families lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

The support we’ve received from the online community has been overwhelming. Just as importantly, the visibility it has brought to our products and our overall business has helped us through the difficult last year.

 

The pandemic has been especially hard on Black businesses, but luckily, there are ways you can help get them back on their feet. Identifying and interacting with businesses online through likes, shares and comments is a helpful way to support the Black community. Advice, introductions, collaborations and more will go a long way to create meaningful change for businesses in your community. If you do buy products from Black businesses, share your experience and leave a review to spread the word and help create new loyal customers. 

 

As Black Business Month comes to close, I hope you continue to seek out and support Black business owners as a simple but impactful way to support our communities. There is a whole community of Black businesses online that are doing everything they can to make it through this economic uncertainty. By purchasing products from or spreading the word online about these businesses, we can continue to strengthen Arizona’s economy and Black community.

 

By Quita Jackson, Owner and Co-Founder of GreenDesert.org 

 

 

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