I'm grateful that I was able to lend my voice on two occasions this Black History Month on the buying power of the Black community and the importance of support. First for an interview with Conscious Company and the second at the Support Your Girlfriends workshop hosted by Tene Nicole Marketing and PR. One of my greatest motivators is actively trying to figure out, how do we go from glorifying Black businesses (potential) to actually putting our money where our mouths are and buying from Black businesses (kinetic)?
"Oh but every Black person knows the importance of supporting black business", some may say. However, numbers don't lie. How do we move the needle? In the words of Malcolm Gladwell, what's the tipping point? Black buying power is estimated around 1.2 trillion dollars last year, yet only 3% of that went directly to Black-owned businesses. Why? We, as a community, now have the option to decide where we spend our money. It amazes me how at one time we had no choice but to patronize businesses, mostly ours, who did business with us. And here we are doing business with companies who neither pretend to cater to us or support us.
And what about non-Blacks? When will they begin to patronize our businesses at a more frequent pace like we do theirs? We eat Chinese food, walk in Italian shoes (Gucci), wear French handbags (Louis) and buy hair from Koreans made from other ethnic groups. I do think it is time to share the financial love. Black businesses make awesome products! I should know, my entire business is structured on buying from them. We are more than just music, sports, hair and beauty brands.
My goal with Bifties.com is to give Black and give back (5% of our proceeds goes to a 501c3 doing work in our communities) on a platform that all races and ethnic groups can purchase from. There are A LOT of people that love and support the Black community, we need that financial support in all industries, not just music and sports.
Black History Month may end for everyone else on March 1st but not for us. So let's remain mindful of the buying power our Black community has. Money talks and with 1.2 trillion in buying power, we have a lot to say with it, so spend it where it matters most.