Minorities contribute so much to the economy of the United States. While only 20 percent of all small businesses across the entire nation are started and owned by people of color, they create so many jobs and help their respective communities flourish. They also add much-needed diversity in the predominantly male and white business landscape.
Yet, they often face more challenges that prevent them from starting their own business and finding success in their market. They do deal with discrimination, especially in finding funding. They sometimes lack the social connections and help they would need to survive. So, when a crisis occurs, such as a pandemic, many end up not surviving.
Unfortunately, minority-owned businesses were the worst hit by the pandemic and the resulting economic recession. Many will never open their doors to customers again. More are still struggling and have yet to return to their pre-pandemic situation.
When minority-owned small businesses, it impacts their community. It creates a desert in which there is an absence of minority-owned enterprises. Even if minorities influence needs and trends in fashion, music, food, and others, deserts exist because they do not own small businesses.
Right now, the pandemic is coming to a close in the U.S. Retail is experiencing a boost as consumers spend their money and stimulus checks on shopping. Consumers, however, should strive to support minority-owned small businesses. Instead of buying from fast fashion brands, for example, give black-owned jewelry brands a chance. Instead of placing an order on Amazon, give your hard-earned cash to Latinx-ran makeup brands.
However, support for minority-owned businesses should not end after the pandemic. Minority entrepreneurs should receive encouragement and assistance in the long term for the sake of their community and of the entire economy.
Your Patronage is Appreciated
Consumers have the power to shape the market. Where and to whom they give their money will determine which enterprises will succeed and disappear into oblivion. As a consumer, the most important thing that you can do to help minority-owned businesses survive the economic recession and grow in the coming years is to use your buying power to support minority entrepreneurs.
No business can survive without buyers. So, seek out minority-owned businesses as much as you can. Purchase their products and services. Doing so would ensure that these ventures stay in the market as long as possible to provide for their respective communities’ needs and empower minority entrepreneurs whose existence is threatened by big-box retailers.
Besides, when you buy from small businesses, your money does not go toward the pockets of billionaires. It enables minority entrepreneurs to do what they love.
Recommend Them to Family and Friends
Many minority-owned small businesses also struggle with visibility. SMEs, after all, do not have the type of budget for marketing that well-established brands already have. It is harder for them to break into the market.
But, it is possible to succeed with the help of consumers.
As a consumer, you have a platform. Your opinion is respected by your acquaintances. Whenever you find a minority-owned small business you enjoy, you should promote them through your social media sites.
Through word-of-mouth, which remains to be the best way to advertise. About 92 percent of people trust the recommendations of those they personally know.
If you are satisfied with the products and services you have been provided, it will help small businesses tremendously when you leave a glowing review. Go on their Facebook page, Google’s My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and other platforms and recount the positive experience that you have.
Leaving a review helps because it also influences sales. A business that receives multiple negative reviews will likely see the rate of new purchases go down. Consumers nowadays do their research before they push through with the transaction. They want to see if the product or service is worth the money.
One survey found that 90 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses. So, encourage others to support minority-owned businesses by leading a good review online.
Write to Your Representatives
Your representatives in the government should listen to you and what you want. You should let them know that what you want is more support for minority-owned small businesses.
While you can do a lot as a consumer, there are limits to it. For minority-owned small businesses to survive, flourish, and multiply, changes are needed at the systemic level.
Write to your representatives and tell them to lobby for increased support, particularly financial, to minority-owned small businesses. If more people contact their representatives, there is a better chance that minority entrepreneurs will receive the aid they deserve.
Minority-owned small businesses are important in the communities in which they operate and to the American economy. The public should, therefore, stop them from disappearing because of and after the pandemic.