Houston Black Chamber Launches Buy Black Directory of Local Businesses

Twice as large as the first edition, the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC) will launch the second edition of its Buy Black Directory on Thursday, Jan. 25. The directory’s kickoff will come the same day the business advocacy group conducts its 83rd annual meeting at The Ballroom at Bayou Place in downtown Houston.

With over 1,000 services and industries ranging from retail to real estate, the 2018 directory follows the first edition in 2017 that included over 500 listings of black-owned businesses in the Greater Houston area.

Nationally, the African American community keeps reaching new levels of financial clout with total black spending projected to reach a record $1.5 trillion by 2021, according to the Nielsen report, African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic. That growth came after a report published by Nielsen that predicted the figure would be $1.3 trillion by 2017. A dollar typically circulates for six hours in the black community, with only 2 cents of every dollar spent at black-owned businesses.

Courtney Johnson-Rose, the chamber’s board chair, says the Buy Black Directory will help direct the buying power of African American consumers back to black-owned businesses. That will allow for job creation and community growth, providing a brighter future for the next generation of Houston’s black entrepreneurs.

Rose says the directory will be an easy-to-use guide to help the black business community in the nation’s fourth-largest city move forward with growth and economic power. The directory was produced by digital marketing firm Fade Media and sponsored by Unity Bank, Texas’ only black-owned bank. Both businesses are GHBC members.

“The Buy Black movement is so important in this current economic climate because there are so many black-owned businesses that need support for sustainability,” says Derek Robinson, creative director at Fade Media. “[It] will help bring about awareness of those black-owned businesses that need our support,” he says. “We enjoy working with the GHBC to help our local economy thrive.”

Black Enterprise, which conducted the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, describes GHBC as “the go-to source for business development and strategic partnership opportunities, as well as education, capital, and contacts for entrepreneurs.” The chamber says it provides services to more than 5,000 local black businesses.

Rose says the directory will serve as an easy-to-use guide to help Houston’s black business community move forward with growth and economic power. At the price of $20 for a printed version, the listing will also be free to download.

“It will not solve every challenge our member businesses face, but we hope it will be a positive resource and step toward economic growth for black-owned businesses in Houston as we intentionally buy black,” said Rose.

Expected to attract around 750 attendees, the GHBC annual meeting will cover several topics. Some of the highlights will include an update on how many black-owned small businesses the chamber has provided grants to for rebuilding purposes after Hurricane Harvey hit the area last August.

Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC), is scheduled as the keynote speaker. Rose says Busby will talk about the state of black business in the country. He also will speak on programs and services the USBC offers to black businesses. Another speaker, Charles O’Neal, the president of the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce, will do the greetings and introduce Busby.