In the US, Black-owned businesses continue to be among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and this holiday season will be make or break for many of them. In fact, 25% of minority-owned businesses expect to make at least half of their annual revenue in the last three months of the year, and this is highest for Black-owned businesses at 34%.
Last month, Facebook brought back its #BuyBlack Friday campaign for the second year in a row to make it easier to shop Black-owned small businesses at this crucial time. Here are four pieces of advice from real-life Black-owned businesses featured on the #BuyBlack Friday Show about how they persevered during the pandemic and made the most of the crucial holiday shopping season.
Be Authentic. This is central to my business. My grandmother was a chef in the Caribbean, and food is huge in my family. It’s how we express love and how we talk about love – through flavors. My hot sauces are an amalgamation of where I come from, it’s capturing my culture inside of a bottle. Ultimately, I think this authenticity is what captures consumers attention and keeps them coming back for more. – Andre Springer, owner of Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce in Brooklyn, New York.
Rely on Yourself. Our business is a family business. One thing that makes us different and that has powered our success is that we keep everything in house. We formulate ourselves, we manufacture ourselves, we distribute ourselves. This allows us to maintain control – helping us to control the future of the business, and our family. – Obia Ewah, owner of OBIA Naturals in Richardson, Texas.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back. It’s human nature to be scared. I had been talking about starting my business for years before my sister finally convinced me to go for it. It’s scary when you’re getting started and you don’t necessarily know everything, but trust the process. You’re doing what you love and you’ll learn along the way. – Annette Njau, owner of House of Takura in Houston, Texas (featured photo)
Be unique. Being an innovator means being unique and doing something outside of the box, something out of the ordinary that others wouldn’t have done. As a small business, it’s one of our greatest strengths. It’s how I landed on making bowties for dogs, and it carries over into the design aspect as well. For example, when making a bowtie, I make sure that it’s colorful, shiny and creative in a way that will catch people’s attention. Think about this with your business too. Stand out! – Sir Darius Brown, owner of Beaux & Paws in Newark, New Jersey
Andre Springer is the owner of Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce in Brooklyn, New York, Obia Ewah is the owner of OBIA Naturals in Richardson, Texas, Sir Darius Brown is the owner of Beaux & Paws in Newark, New Jersey and Annette Njau is the owner of House of Takura in Houston, Texas. All were featured during Facebook’s recent #BuyBlack Friday campaign, encouraging consumers to shop with Black-owned small businesses this holiday season.