August brings along a meaningful celebration that goes beyond just commerce – it's Black Business Month, a dedicated time to recognize, uplift, and amplify the achievements of Black entrepreneurs. From local eateries to tech startups, Black-owned businesses have made their mark in diverse industries, shaping communities, and driving economic growth. This month is a reminder of the importance of supporting these businesses, not just for their success, but for the profound impact they have on our society.
Unaddressed Disparities: Black Consumer Spending vs. Wealth Creation
An important facet of the racial wealth gap lies in the discrepancy between Black consumer spending and the creation of wealth within the community. Despite contributing significantly to the overall economy through consumer spending, the wealth generated often doesn't circulate back into the Black community. Black consumers spend roughly $300—850 billion each year on goods and services. Imagine the transformative potential if a substantial portion of the $320—850 billion spent annually by Black consumers was redirected toward Black-owned businesses. This redirection can bridge economic disparities, close the wealth gap, and uplift the Black community.
Black-owned businesses have the potential to change the narrative surrounding the Black dollar and the persistent wealth gap. If we consider the immense purchasing power within the Black consumer market, which is projected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023 and channel a significant portion of that towards Black-owned businesses, we can create a transformative impact. By consciously choosing to support Black entrepreneurs, we contribute to the growth and success of businesses that are often underserved and overlooked. This intentional support not only fuels economic empowerment but also directly addresses the wealth gap that has historically disadvantaged Black households. As these businesses flourish, they generate jobs, create opportunities for skill development, and reinvest in the community.
Ebony Paul-Harris and Brown Suga
Black-owned businesses stand as pillars of economic growth, job creation, and community enrichment. This truth resonates strongly in the heart of Kansas. One such remarkable entrepreneur is Ebony Paul-Harris alongside her sister, Asia Lockett and mother, Reba Paul. This mom-and-daughter collaboration is the visionary owners of Brown Suga in Olathe, Kansas.
Brown Suga is more than a bakery; it's a culmination of passion, innovation, and the love for creating extraordinary treats. The mouthwatering cookies seem to tell stories with their flavors, Ebony Paul-Harris has breathed life into a culinary haven that goes beyond baked goods. With each creation, she meticulously crafts not just a treat but an experience that lingers on the taste buds and in the memories of her patrons. You can support Brown Suga by ordering online at www.brownsugabakes.com or visiting the store at 1066 W Santa Fe St, Olathe, KS 66061.
A Collaborative Effort
Kansas is making significant strides in recognizing the value of Black entrepreneurship. Governor Kelly's proclamation on July 28, 2023, designating the first week of August as Black Entrepreneur Week, underscores the growing commitment to supporting Black-owned businesses. This official recognition reinforces the importance of empowering Black entrepreneurs, both as a reflection of their contributions and as a catalyst for systemic change.
A Call to Action
As consumers, we hold immense power in our purchasing decisions. During Black Business Month and beyond, let's choose to support Black-owned businesses in our neighborhoods. By doing so, we contribute to the circulation of the Black dollar within the community, fostering economic empowerment and resilience.
Black Business Month is a celebration of more than just entrepreneurship; it's a testament to the enduring strength, innovation, and determination of Black individuals in the face of adversity. It's a reminder that our dollars have the power to spark change, drive progress, and uplift entire communities.
So, as you explore your local neighborhoods and shop for products and services, consider seeking out and supporting Black-owned businesses. Your support isn't just about the transaction; it's about contributing to a more just and inclusive society where economic opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of their background.
Check out these directories to find Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood.