We here at TrueMovement strive to support and promote Black owned businesses. Promoting is simple, right? Mention the business in a post. Add a link to their website. Interview the owner. Show their products during a Periscope stream. Speak about the business to other Black owned businesses. Supporting should be just as simple. However, during this article I will discuss why it is not.
When you think of the places you get your toiletries, which places come to mind? Walmart, Target, maybe a local supermarket. Why do you go to these businesses to purchase what you need? Tradition– maybe your family has been shopping there for as long as you can remember. Product– could be these places are the only places that carry the product you use. Advertising– you see a commercial for one or another of these locales every other commercial. Word of mouth– your friends and colleagues swear by these businesses. What do all these reasons boil down to……TRUST. You TRUST Walmart because your family has been shopping there forever. You TRUST Target because they’re the only ones who carry your favorite brand. You TRUST both because they are always advertising on TV and the radio. You TRUST that your friends and colleagues are smart enough to recommend the best place to shop.
Now, when you think of the Black owned businesses you have supported in the past; what are some of the reasons you did? You know the owner and wanted to help. A friend told you about the business. You were getting the “hook up”; a huge discount or something for free. Don’t feel bad if you’ve nodded your head in agreement while reading these reasons. We are all guilty of being skeptical of supporting “unknown” businesses because they are Black owned. Maybe the owner will give me attitude. They don’t have an advertising budget so you don’t hear about them. When someone mentions the business they have a but attached. “I bought soap from her BUT it was too expensive.” “I bought clothes there BUT they wouldn’t hook me up even though we’re both Black.” I could go on and on although you already know what I mean.
Shop Black on FAITH. Shop Black so we can create the necessary word of mouth. Shop Black to support the people who will ultimately support you. Shop Black to put your money back into your own communities. Shop Black without looking for the hook up because we have the same skin tone. Walmart doesn’t give you the hook up. Nor do any of the other non-Black owned businesses. We spend over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000,000,000 that many zeros) in the United States with everyone but ourselves. .5% of that is five million dollars. Half a percent!!! What could that much money do for your community? Shop Black because Black lives matter but Black dollars matter more. I challenge each and everyone one of you reading this post.Start making a frequent purchase from a Black owned business. Be it soap or laundry detergent. Bread or meats. Change one frequent purchase.
What will be your new frequent purchase?