Highlighting, Championing and Supporting Black-Owned Businesses During National Black Business Month

During August, we celebrate National Black Business Month (NBBM) and honor the rich heritage of Black entrepreneurship! Recognizing the importance of championing Black-owned businesses, communities far and wide can lift each other up, connect minority-owned businesses to consumers, promote educational opportunities, and encourage meaningful collaboration to bolster the impact that Black entrepreneurs have on our local economies.

Here are a few tips/examples of what you can do to seek out, support, and champion Black-owned businesses and help communities thrive during the month of August and beyond:

  • You can shop at Black-owned businesses! Numerous directories have been compiled online, such as the Virginia Black Business Directory, which identifies Black-owned businesses in various cities and states across the state. Some Advancing Virginia Main Street (AVMS) programs, like Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR), even have their Black- and Brown-owned business directory featured on their website. If your community has an active Main Street program or Chamber of Commerce, perhaps check to see what resources they offer to help you support Black-owned businesses. You can also check out Groupon and The Black Wallet, a digital resource that connects Black entrepreneurs with customers, to find Black-owned businesses in your area. For restaurants, you can use sites like the EatOkra app and EbonEats or follow #BlackOwnedRestaurants on Instagram.
  • You can post on social media! People can share such aforementioned directories, highlight the businesses they have supported, and encourage others to do the same. You can boost NBBM by discussing it on social media and use hashtags such as #SupportBlackBusiness or #ShareBlackStories. Main Street America (MSA) has also developed a social media toolkit to help spread the word about NBBM, and you can download a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter graphic to support your promotional efforts. Here’s some language to accompany the various social images:
    • We are highlighting National Black Business Month this August! Tune in throughout the month as we spotlight and amplify the local Black-owned businesses in our district.
    • August is National Black Business Month! We are highlighting and amplifying the Black-owned businesses in our downtown in honor of this month.
    • Join us this month as we highlight and share stories of Black-owned businesses in honor of National Black Business Month.
  • You can support causes that assist Black entrepreneurs! Find local and/or regional organizations that help provide opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and consider donating or volunteering to make a lasting difference. As an example, the New Hill Development Corporation is an African-American led 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to build financial resilience, economic opportunity, and affordable housing in the Greater Charlottesville Black community. Recently, they received a Virginia Statewide Business District Resurgence Grant (VSBDRG), totaling $150,000, to develop a business accelerator, commercial kitchen, and co-working space for Black food and beverage entrepreneurs in and around the Starr Hill community of Charlottesville. They’re just one of many organizations championing Black-owned businesses and advancing Black entrepreneurship in Virginia!

Stay tuned for more Virginia Main Street (VMS) blog posts throughout the month as we celebrate Black-owned businesses!

Image Credit (Top): Black PR Wire

Image Credit (Bottom): Groupon