It’s an unfortunate and historic truth that Black entrepreneurs often face barriers to entry when trying to build their businesses in a way that their white-owned counterparts do not.
Limited access to capital and a lack of financial assistance have long been roadblocks for Black entrepreneurs, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these issues as small businesses everywhere suffered.
According to a 2020 study by McKinsey, at the height of the pandemic, the number of active Black-owned businesses in the United States dropped about 40 percent – one of the largest drops compared to that of other ethnic groups.
Furthermore, the Small Business Credit Survey 2022 Report on Employer Firms by the 12 Federal Reserve Banks reported that non-Hispanic Blacks and Asians only received 14 percent of pandemic-related financial assistance compared to the 19 percent received by Hispanics and the 34 percent given to non-Hispanic whites. This underscores the notion that Black-owned businesses, which were the most likely to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, received the least amount of funding needed to properly recover.
These challenges – both systemic and brought on by the pandemic – have disproportionately affected Black-owned businesses, making it even more critical to support Black entrepreneurship.
This support is directly tied to creating more job opportunities, closing the racial wealth gap, and stimulating local economies – all of which are vital to establish a healthy economy and strong communities.
For consumers, purchasing power is a critical component to achieving this. Redirecting spending habits towards Black-owned businesses is a great way to directly support Black entrepreneurship and Black communities.
To illustrate just how accessible Black-owned businesses are, we’re highlighting some of our favorite businesses that we are grateful to have supported in their business development journey.
One Degree Marketing is a boutique digital marketing firm based in Birmingham, AL, that supports small to midsize organizations with a suite of marketing services including social media management, email marketing, website development and design, and marketing strategy.
“Everyone’s needs vary for products and services, but when a decision to spend money or engage a company is being made, don’t make that decision without having one or more Black businesses in the mix. Doing so creates an awareness of just how many Black businesses exist in that industry. When you make recommendations, try to include a Black-owned business in your list to friends, family, and colleagues.” – Jacqui Jones, Owner, One Degree Marketing
S.A. Nelson & Associates is an industry-leading public relations and communications agency in South Florida that specializes in public involvement strategy, government relations, design, event planning, and social media.
“Supporting Black business owners not only acknowledges the wealth gap by creating a path for establishing sustained, multi-generational wealth in the Black community, it also celebrates Black culture by sustaining products and services that are culturally relevant and appropriate.” – Sophia Nelson, Owner, S.A. Nelson & Associates
Owned by award-winning restaurateur Trinnette Morris, Trindy Enterprises is comprised of Trindy Café, a breakfast eatery serving Southern-style cuisine, Trindy Gourmet, a catering, and production operation that specializes in corporate events and mass transit food production, and Trindy Education Solutions, a culinary consulting team. Trindy Enterprises brings Trinnette’s 20+ years of industry experience to the West Palm Beach, FL food scene.
“Our impact as a culture relies heavily on being able to commune at Black-owned restaurants, clubs, salons, barbershops, and other businesses. When you support a Black-owned business, you’re supporting and lifting a community.” – Trinnette Morris, Founder & CEO, Trindy Enterprises
Adam Ramsey, OD, had a dream to open a store where eyeglasses and sunglasses were selected based on style and craftsmanship rather than industry favorites. From that dream, Socialite Vision was born, providing industry-leading concierge eye care delivered through pioneering technology and curated eyewear in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
“Support for a business can be free: you can share, like and subscribe to a business’ social media channels; you can refer a friend or family member; you can leave a review and tell others about your experience at that business.” – Adam Ramsey, Owner, Socialite Vision
Grandma Val’s Lemonade & More
What began with a homemade lemonade recipe has grown to include more than 20 of Grandma Val’s “Fresh & Fruity” signature lemonades and teas. Grandma Val’s was born from the idea that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, as Grandma Val has proven, having started this business at age 59. This business has become a community favorite of Opelika, AL.
“We have to start embracing and thinking of our fellow Black-owned businesses. Whatever we may need, there is a Black-owned business that surely may have it.” – Valarie Canady, Owner, Grandma Val’s Lemonade & More
Dani’s Cheesecakes brings customers a luxury dessert experience at an affordable price with its no-bake cheesecake desserts. These treats can be eaten on-the-go and come in more than 35 flavors including the best-selling strawberry crunch, red velvet cookies & cream, and peanut butter & jelly.
“Supporting Black businesses creates entrepreneurial opportunities. We become more profitable and help bridge the gap for low-income families to move up in status. It helps leave something to our kids.” – Danielle Moore, Owner, Dani’s Cheesecakes
Come Thru Chic
Come Thru Chic tops off any meal with its fresh, homemade chicken salad. Everything owner Shaffeka Kennedy does is by hand, as she takes great care to ensure her customers receive the best product.
“Supporting Black businesses means a lot to owners as myself that are trying to create a way for young, Black up-and-coming owners. It means a lot for so many of us to know what our ancestors fought so hard for.” – Shaffeka Kennedy, Owner, Come Thru Chic
Armistead Candle Company, LLC
Armistead Candle Company produces private and custom labeled candles that are hand-poured, all-natural and vegan-based, and free from harmful chemicals and toxins. In addition to receiving high quality candles, customers receive ample instruction on how to achieve the most efficient burn each time their candle is lit.
“Supporting Black-owned businesses means contributing to the culture and entrusting the many skills and talents in which we as a people are honored and privileged to showcase in the times of today within our local communities, as well as across the nation. It means contributing to generations to come that make up an ongoing and impactful legacy.” – Michelle Armistead, Owner, Armistead Candle Company, LLC
Our business banking experts lend support by providing entrepreneurs with financial services – including bank accounts, business credit cards, equipment loans and fixed rate term loans, among others – designed to help them succeed.
We understand that small businesses and minority-owned businesses are a valued and essential part of our communities, and we’re committed to helping underserved businesses develop and grow through a series of financial products and resources. Whether you’ve been established for some time or are starting a business, we look at your growth potential rather than your current size to determine how we can help drive your long-term growth.