August 2018 will mark the 15th annual celebration of National Black Business Month (NBBM). With its tagline of “31 Days 31 Ways,” NBBM is a month-long drive to boost acknowledgment and support of Black-owned businesses. By raising awareness, NBBM seeks to bolster the economic self-sufficiency of these businesses, locally and nationally.
There are roughly 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the nation. While an impressive number, there is still a greater need for more minority-owned businesses as greater diversity will mean a more robust economy. Small businesses are vital to our local communities and go a long way in terms of supporting residents, building economies, and helping to achieve greater racial equity in entrepreneurship. The City of Boston itself has prioritized businesses owned by women and people of color in its development efforts. The city has also championed the need for greater diversity in the contracts it awards for public works projects.
There are several ways you can make Black Business Month a success and contribute to the economic empowerment of these firms. By participating in cooperatives that invest in minority-owned firms, you’re making a conscious decision to stand together and help promote a diverse business sector in Boston and beyond.
While the 31 days of August are coming to an end, that doesn’t mean your support of these firms needs to end as well. It’s up to all of us to come together and contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of the business community. Here are just a few ways you can be supportive of Black-owned businesses, the work they do, and the services they provide.
Visit the Official Black Wall Street, an easy-to-use directory to search for Black-owned businesses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and across the country.
The Front Porch Arts Collective, based in Cambridge, MA, is providing a unique opportunity for its patrons to advocate. The Collective not only provides a high-quality artistic experience, but it also advocates for and uplifts talented black actors with the potential to become strong leaders.
Black Business Month is also a great time to support Black-owned firms that are still getting their footing in local communities such as Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. The UJIMA Project provides a shared space for communities in the Boston area to come together and implement smart ways to create a new, prosperous local economy.
Learn more about the importance of supporting minority-owned businesses in the Boston area.