Wendy Gladney (File photo)

National Black Business Month was created in 2004 by John William Templeton and Frederick E. Jordan Sr., to bring attention to the need of supporting Black-owned businesses. Today, there are approximately 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States.  

Black Business Month is a time to not only highlight Black-owned businesses, but also a time to patronize them and support them. Supporting Black businesses helps create healthy communities and provide job opportunities.   

As a small business owner for over three decades, I personally understand some of the challenges it takes to start, run and stay in business.  Some of the hurdles I had to overcome are not specific to just me, but are things that women and Black-owned businesses face.   

Some of the challenges we face that majority-owned businesses do not have to face are limited access to capital, lack of business networks, and systemic barriers. Black-owned businesses operate in various industries including professional services, healthcare, retail, food services, construction, and more.  

Women own approximately 35 percent of Black businesses.  However, they earn much less than non-minority women business owners. Many industries that serve Black communities such as hair products and restaurants are not owned by Black Americans. 

If we want to help Black-owned businesses, here are some things we can do – purchase products or services from them, use social media platforms, word of mouth, and online reviews to share positive experiences we had with them.  By doing this, it can help increase their visibility and customer base and we also can participate in events, fairs, and markets that showcase Black-owned businesses.  

If you are a business owner or professional, consider collaborating with Black-owned businesses for projects, partnerships, or joint ventures. If you have the means, consider investing in or financially supporting Black-owned startups and ventures. This can help provide the capital needed for growth and expansion. Utilize online directories and platforms that specifically promote Black-owned businesses. Websites and apps like “Support Black Owned” or “We Buy Black” can help you discover businesses to support. 

August is Black Business Month. The Black Business Association (BBA) in partnership with U.S. Bank, KJLH Radio, and Harold and Belle’s Restaurant celebrated Black Business Day on Saturday, August 19 with the theme of “Building Legacies, Bolstering Black Prosperity.”  There were several hundred people that came out to acknowledge and celebrate local Black-owned businesses.  

Councilwoman Heather Hutt from the 10th District brought greetings, and Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s office provided resources to help make the day come together.  Local law enforcement was out in full support as well as several small local businesses.  

As we close out the month of August, I hope you were able to support Black-owned businesses that sell products you want and need, but let us not slow down or stop just because summer is ending. Let us help them build their wealth and build lasting legacies.  

In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”  Let us plan to be in the struggle together to build a better future. 

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on. 


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.