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The Importance of Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

By Jay Black
Guest Column

I have studied this issue for some time now and have come to the conclusion that we will not solve the economic and social problems that have plagued our community for the past few generations unless we change our thinking and behavior relative to supporting our businesses. 

Why, you might ask? 

When we don’t have control over our own commerce we are at the mercy and control of others.  Have you wondered how non-black -wned businesses (white, Middle Eastern, Asian) dominate the small businesses in our community while at the same time knowing that they would never allow this to happen in reverse in their communities? 

It is called the control of commerce. 

Have you wondered why every other ethnic group supports it’ own except us?  Perhaps they understand this concept more than we do.  I must add that it is not possible at this time for us to spend 100 percent of our discretionary income with black-owned businesses because we are not in every business discipline locally.  For instance, there are no black-owned new RV dealers in this area so there is no opportunity to buy a new unit from an African American.

The good news is we can begin to reverse these adverse trends by consciously changing our behavior and by spending some of our money with African Americans on a consistent basis.  I challenge you to make an effort to patronize a black-owned business at least three times a month for starters.  If you need help with finding quality African -American businesses call the TAACC office. Listed below are just three benefits of supporting our businesses on a regular basis.

1.      We have greater control of what goes on in our community.  For those of you who are old enough remember the days when Dorr, City Park, Division and Collingwood streets formed the core of our communities’ business district,  there was a tremendous sense of pride in knowing that we “owned something.”  Our children saw black business owners on a daily basis and could more readily aspire to be one of them.  We had control over who worked in those businesses and our dollar turned over multiple times before it left our community.  The unemployment rate was much lower in our community then than it is today.

2.      Unemployment Rate.  We will begin to reduce the unemployment rate in our community if we can help our businesses grow.  Go into any African-American-owned business and you are apt to see African Americans working in them. There is a large and growing segment in our community whom no one will hire (except us). These are the ex-felons, and Bobos,  Junebugs, Shykondas and Aquacenas in our families and churches.  There are approximately 2.0 million African-American owned businesses in America and approximately 1.9 million unemployment amongst African Americans.  If we would help our businesses grow by patronizing them on a consistent basis we could conceivably solve the unemployment problem in our community.

3.     Crime Rate.  We can reduce the crime rates in our community by helping our businesses grow.  How? When Pookie is gainfully employed he doesn’t have time to get with the wrong crowd and consequently get into trouble.  We could also drastically reduce the recidivism rates for those who are currently in the system if they had access to gainful employment once they exit the system.

Ed Note: This column is reprinted from our 11.22.2016 issue



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/24/18 23:27:36 -0500.

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