Within the past year, a lot of businesses have been formed within the black community and many are absolutely thriving. On the other hand, most are not doing so hot. But why? Can we blame it on Covid, regular business progress, or is there another factor at hand?
Starting a business is a very difficult, time consuming, and technical task, but as with everything, doing it while black makes it even more of a struggle. Many put their products and businesses out into the world emphasizing that it is black owned due to the fact that most products are not created for our benefit. For example, companies such as Alaffia, a social enterprise company that specializes in body, face, and hair care products while working to decrease poverty in West Africa, and Alikay Naturals, started by Rochelle Alikay Graham-Campbell from her youtube channel.
According to CNBC, 8/10 black owned businesses fail within their first 18 months. Business owned by black people have a harder time surviving the world today due to how difficult it is for the community to thrive in the first placed. Just like most companies within the past year, Covid has severely impacted the success rate of the business and has seen many close. 41% of black owned businesses shut down between February and April of 2020 due to the virus. The large increase in activity of the Black Lives Matter movement gave black businesses a lot more income and customers, but not enough to ensure that they would continue to stay open.
Historically, businesses within the black community have always had a harder time than other small businesses owned by white people or other minorities, but this past year has made it even more difficult. According to the New York Post, 80% of black business owners face challenges when trying to get their business off the ground due to their race. Many issues that businesses owners in the black community face involve customers not taking them seriously, not being able to own their accomplishments, and difficulty building a support network.
These roadblocks can often come from other individuals within the black community and a lack of willingness to support black owned businesses. A stereotype often followed is that black owned businesses do not have the same level of professionalism as their white counterparts, and this causes less support from their own community.
Regardless of what the issue is that is stopping the success of black businesses, it must stop. There is an immense amount of talent and amazing creations within the black community that deserve the chance to prosper past the status of a small business. Make sure to support a black owned business when you can.