This Saturday, November 26, has been designated by American Express as Small Business Saturday for the second year. Observed on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, this is a campaign to get consumers to devote at least some of their holiday shopping budgets to spending with small businesses.
As I did last year, I enthusiastically support Small Business Saturday and commend American Express for establishing this tradition and others for promoting it, especially because we are all looking to small businesses to take an even greater role in driving our economy and creating jobs. But I’m going to challenge you to go one better: Use Small Business Saturday as an occasion to spend with Black-owned small business. These are the businesses most likely to create jobs where they are most desperately needed, in the urban communities that are suffering from the highest levels of unemployment.
The positive economic impact of spending more money with Black-owned businesses is well established, most recently by The Empowerment Experiment, the project of Chicago’s John and Maggie Anderson, who followed through on a commitment of devoting an entire year to spending only with Black enterprises. One conclusion of the experiment: If Black households with annual incomes of $75,000 and higher increased their spending with Black-owned businesses from 2 percent to 10 percent of their total spending, it could create up to one million new jobs in Black communities.
For us as consumers, this represents a major opportunity to support Black entrepreneurship, which is predominantly comprised of small businesses. Don’t forget small businesses based in low-to-middle income communities in rural and urban areas. Be willing to spend in nearby neighborhoods that may have been hit hardest by the recession. I urge you to celebrate Small Business Saturday by spending as much as you can with small Black-owned businesses. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make this little “empowerment experiment” a new resolution for 2012.
Watch below to see which Black-owned businesses folks are supporting this holiday season