The “Indiana GPS: Strategies for Resilience” report found Indiana has a shortage of entrepreneurs. According to the report, nearly 40% of Indiana’s firms are at least 16 years old and employ about 75% of the workforce. These businesses are crucial to our local economies and the success of our thriving communities. Undeniably, the current pandemic has been exceedingly difficult on Black business owners’ mental and financial health. Though many organizations and corporations have stepped up to help Black businesses, it’s not guaranteed that they will be able to keep their doors open.
As a business community we can pivot our spending habits, as well as encourage them by influencing those around us. True allies believe in the business’s mission, vision, and values. There are ways to support Black businesses other than providing financial assistance.
Interact and Comment on Social Media
When you like, share, or comment on a Black small business you are helping your algorithm as well as the page you are interacting with. Sharing a social media post enables your followers to see the business’s content. Also, provide a testimonial on their business page, showing the interaction amongst both businesses.
Give a Shout Out/Post a Photo
Visuals are powerful and impactful. Posting a visual is one of the best ways for your followers to engage the business’s content. Be sure to @tag their business page on the platform you are posting.
Become a Member
Indiana has several organizations that support Black businesses and entrepreneurs. The Indy Black Chamber of Commerce, Edna Martin Christian Center, National Black MBA Indianapolis Chapter, and Sister’s Alliance are organizations who offer events, resources, and tools for businesses. The information shared among these organizations benefit all businesses. If you have team members seeking professional development, becoming a member or attending events can help the organization’s brand. Furthermore, you can create alliances while increasing your network with Black businesses.
Join Forces on a Community Project
Working on a community project is a win-win for both organizations. Both businesses will receive exposure for helping the community. The community project can be as simple as collecting toys for Christmas or school supplies giveaway for local schools. A community project is a way to build a relationship. Creating time to know each other builds support and partnership.
For our economy to remain competitive, we will have to ensure all businesses have the support and exposure for the long haul. Supporting Black-owned businesses on a continuous basis creates positive outcomes, such as: lower unemployment, the accumulation of wealth and gains in education. It is also important to be intentional about providing that support. This effort can take hold in many forms as mentioned above. However, the main goal is to be an advocate for small businesses.