Black Business Month: Celebrate & Support Black-Owned Businesses Across the Commonwealth
Since 2004, August has been recognized as Black Business Month. While today is the last day of Black Business Month, it is important that we continue to foster meaningful conversations, year-round, and promote initiatives that will lead to greater support for Black-owned businesses. Below you will find information prepared by leaders of Black BRAND and the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce discussing the history of Black Business Month, ways to support Black-owned businesses, and initiatives developed by their respective organizations. I encourage you to review the information included below and continue to support the Black-owned businesses within your community.
Learn more about Black BRAND by following this link.
“Black-owned businesses continue to be the hardest hit by COVID, yet opportunities for exposure such as these provide much-needed support to keep those that have managed to remain open afloat during these difficult times,” said Co-Founder and President of Black BRAND Blair Durham. “As federal initiatives continue to assist with funding and other critical needs, we are grateful that our statewide chamber has embraced this cause and is doing its part to celebrate and highlight black-owned businesses.”
INFORMATION ON BLACK BUSINESSES & THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
- 42% of Black-owned businesses closed during the first 3 months of the pandemic.
- Many Black-owned businesses could not access federal funding and other programs due to poor or nonexistent banking and accounting advisory relationships.
- 18% of businesses in Hampton Roads are Black-owned.
- 71% of Black-owned businesses in Hampton Roads are employer firms. This number is relatively consistent with the national average.
- Black business owners are concentrated primarily across six industries, with the greatest concentration in healthcare.
(Source: These statistics were reported by the most recent Census Bureau report, as well as several recent reports by McKinsey and Kellogg.)
INITIATIVES OF BLACK BRAND:
B-Force Accelerator: providing strategic, organization, and financial planning leading to access to capital. Program also provides contextualized technical assistance (one on one business consulting by black attorneys, CPAs, and marketing professionals) so that business owners can gain free access to legal services such as incorporation, contract agreements, quick books training, professional tax filing, website development, etc. Application portal for 3rd cohort opens on August 15 and classes begin on September 15. Visit blackboard.biz for more information. (I can send video, logo, etc.) Sponsored by GO Virginia, Truist, Ferguson Enterprises, and Dollar Bank.
150 Year Plan: A Shared Vision for a Thriving Community – a strategic, multigenerational plan to move the needle and grow black wealth. Plan recently picked up by the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Data Science for the Public Good program where Virginia Tech and Virginia State University staff and students are building a data dashboard for access by practitioners and other community stakeholders for funding, programming, and partnership leverage. Dashboard will be complete by mid-August.
Black BRAND Dan River Region will launch its 90 days to 100 members campaign on August 2 with the support of their Founding 40. This campaign is a rich strategy to highlight black business owners in Danville, Pittsylvania County, Halifax County, and Caswell County. We are excited to support them in meeting this audacious goal.
Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
Learn more about the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce by following this link.
August is National Black Business Month, and it’s an opportunity to recognize the Black-owned businesses across the nation.
In 2020, National Black Business Month was particularly important given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities. Economists have indicated prior to the COVID-19 crisis, minority entrepreneurs, who own 37% of all businesses, faced greater challenges in starting, running and growing their entities. It was predicted that 40% of black businesses would not be able to survive the pandemic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Blacks or African Americans owned approximately 124,551 businesses, with about 28.5%(35,547) of these businesses in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, the highest percentage of any minority group. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, barberships, beauty salons.
While many businesses in the Commonwealth are navigating the sustainability of their entities and have been forced to pivot, there is much more work to be accomplished for small black owned businesses. COVID has added an extra layer of obstacles for black business communities to overcome. Intrinsically Black Businesses are savvy, creative and resourceful during their entrepreneurial journey. As businesses are scaling, becoming more mature and contributing jobs to the economy, there is much to be said for “business stamina” of the CEO’s and leaders in those organizations. The NVBCC is delving into the many layers of the black economy, local economy and global economy to support our diverse membership needs of our elite and prestigious business owners. We show we can work together to develop business in our communities and communities at large. We are willing to explore dynamics of a new business model that is set for the future growth and transformation. In celebration of Black Business Month, we invite you to become part of our community, explore the talent of our members and build relationships.
More information on the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce’s initiatives and events can be found by following this link.
WAYS TO SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES IN YOUR COMMUNITY:
- Support and encourage African American-owned businesses in your community.
- Search many published directories, business groups and online directories and promote them on your social media.
- Engage and invest funding to non-profit organizations. They are the hands and feet to reach those who have been impacted through lack of healthcare, food and housing.
- Invest in education programs to support the need of building a new workforce for generations to come.
- Find a Black-owned government contractor to explore capabilities and teaming agreements.
HISTORY OF BLACK BUSINESS MONTH:
Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr founded National Black Business Month in August 2004 to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African-American businesses. Their concept of Black Business Month is simple: support Black-owned organizations to promote greater economic freedom for the Black community. To that end, Jordan and Templeton have pushed to create a more hospitable environment for Black-owned businesses to grow by reaching out to local government officials, community leaders and venture capitalists. It is through their leadership that organizations such as our chambers are trusted entities to support the needs of businesses in the community.