Hold up wait a minute black business owner, I am spending my money!

“Blacks don’t support black-owned businesses.” This is the narrative that I hear daily.  While scrolling through social media, I am constantly viewing stories from blacks about the multiple bad experiences they have had trying to purchase from black businesses.

I continuously hear complaints about how unprofessional they are and how bad their customer service is. I came across one incident on Facebook when I read a post on someone’s timeline. A black man was inquiring about booking a service.

The man asked the woman business owner does she perform at weddings? The business owner rudely responded by saying “Duh, obviously, that’s why you are hitting me up, right?” The potential customer went on to the next question and asked her how much does she charge? 

The owner replied by saying “I charge to give consultations for my prices, my time is not free.”  The customer got fed up and blocked her. What’s baffling to me is that the business owner shared the messages between her and the customer on Facebook and posted the caption “You see this, I don’t have patience for people trying to waste my time”

As if she was in the right. When people in the comments defended the customer, She got upset.

This is something we see all too often, when consumers offer suggestions to those business owners. Instead of being open to constructive criticism and applying tactics that can improve their business, numerous owners go on the defensive.

The dismissal of the concerns from those potential buyers is what hinders many black businesses from growth and longevity and ultimately causes their demise.

 In a report, According to the University of Georgia Selig Center for Economic Growth, the growth in black spending power reached 1.6 trillion dollars, which doubled from the previous year,  but our wealth in the black community has fallen by 14 percent. I strongly believe this is due to our buying power being spent outside of our communities. Programs and many services have been put into place for us to make money but we don’t know how to keep it and flourish with it. The bad taste that many black businesses leave in their consumers’ mouths forces the buyers to ban black-owned businesses from their shopping lists. The people want to support honestly, but don’t want to deal with the headaches that come along with it.

Another thing that hinders black businesses is that people don’t know where to find them. Many of these businesses don’t set money aside for advertisement. There are no websites for these businesses. They just post on Facebook and leave it at that.

Another issue I encountered myself is businesses being closed during business hours. There was one incident where I went to a black-owned store two days in a row and they were closed during the time they were supposed to be open. I vowed to never go there again.

Not only was it a waste of gas, but time as well. I have experienced people asking for the cost of services and business owners telling them to inox them for prices, which makes people hesitant because they feel they are not getting the same prices as everyone else. Things like this are what cause these infrastructures to crumble.

Many may ask why is this an ongoing thing in the black community. They say the Asians, Jews, and other groups of people prosper, so why don’t the blacks. I believe it can be due to many things.

One factor business owners have is the lack of trust in our own community which has been a common frustration. We can also look at systemic oppression and trauma.

Just take a look at what happened with Black wall Street. That black community flourished and was burned down to rubble. Even then, the black dollar circulating in our community was a threat and systems have been put into place and toxic patterns have been created to keep businesses from growing.

It is imperative that we as a community practice group economics to fix this. We don’t need to bash our people but educate and improve what can be done. We have to start implementing things such as business literacy and credit building. If we don’t take action as a whole, this will continue to be a repeated cycle in the black community.




Courtesy of CNBC

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