Campaign Shines Spotlight on Black Businesses
A new initiative aims to help showcase and guide Black-owned businesses in Indianapolis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year and Black-owned businesses are disproportionately affected and are also affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tamara Cypress founded #BlackBusinessesMatter to help change the trajectory.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Cypress said the program focuses on storytelling and networking, specifically for smaller Black businesses.
“All businesses matter, especially as these small businesses are struggling at this time,” said Cypress. “However, we’re looking at the data that suggest about 41% of Black businesses have been permanently impacted or closed since COVID. So we wanted to do our small part leading from where we are to help these Black businesses with this campaign and really showcase who they are and what great services they have to provide.”
Cypress says while the marketing aspect of the campaign is important, the storytelling component is the heart of the effort.
“We are partnering with the Indianapolis Recorder to help showcase profiles because we really believe that people want to work with businesses and support businesses that they know. So we’re taking the time to personalize Black businesses, really humanize who they are beyond just how to find them.”
Cypress says the early response to the campaign has been strong and she has found a lot of Black businesses need help in specific areas.
“We were able to find out that 58% of them need help with social media, 43% of them need help with their website and more than 40% of them are not certified with the city or state. And that’s important because if their goals are to work with the city or state, they wouldn’t show up on any database or email and we want to make sure that we’re connecting them with the right people and helping fill out those gaps beyond just marketing.”