In the beginning of the pandemic we saw a lot of people supporting small local businesses. Lots of people ordered take out from mom-and-pop stores and local cuisine as well as purchased apparel and accessories, but one business sector that everyone seemed to breeze over was black owned businesses.
This has seemed to be a trend throughout American history with how black ownership hasn’t been something often brought to the forefront.
In May of 2020, black owned businesses were at an all time low at -40 percent. Lots of these businesses had to shut down because of low sales and revenue. Black owned businesses were also financially hit by COVID-19 because minority businesses such as black owned businesses were late to receive loans given out by the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
“Black owned businesses impact African American communities because it could give more African American people jobs under people who look like them. It could also serve as motivation for young African Americans to grow up and want to start their own businesses,” Aquil Stewart, sophomore exercise science major, said.
So why should we care? When you support or buy from these businesses you are helping create jobs and opportunities for others. You are giving young people motivation to become entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs can then help their families grow, go from low income status to the middle class and change the narratives for many unemployed African Americans. Buying from small black owned businesses also creates job opportunities for the business to hire unemployed African Americans.
If you don’t know how you can start to support black owned businesses, here are some perfect small businesses rooted in the area that you can support.
AroDough from A Little Mental is a cute online shop that sells aromatherapy playdough for adults! Morgan is the founder and creator of this fun stress relieving activity. She graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Education degree in Counseling and Mental Health Services.
Morgan Reid created AroDough so adults could have a self care product that has the benefits of aromatherapy and fidget toys all in one. The soft dough is infused with essential oils that release when you play with the dough. Morgan currently has three scents Lavender, Spearmint and Creamsicle. You can find more on her website.
“I think black owned businesses are important because they show the progress in being successful for an African American in the United States,” Stewart said. He also believes that these businesses give people who have grown up in poor neighborhoods a chance to be successful in the real world.
The growth in black owned businesses can also help black communities make financial leaps for their environments, as taking more ownership can do wonders for the next generation.
Her and her brother, Dara Ajayi, now run the successful business that was founded out of Elabors King of Prussia studio apartment. They sell everything from women’s to kid’s clothing with lots of different options in sizing. You can find them here.
Building awareness for these black owned businesses can be crucial to their success. Supporting black owned businesses is easy and it should be encouraged that people should support them more.