We must engage in “conscious consumerism.â€ In other words, let’s vote with our dollars. Quite frankly, it’s in our individual and collective interest to reinvest in our communities. That’s why we include the following tenet among our 10 Wealth for Life Principles: I will support the creation and growth of minority-owned businesses. I urge all to engage in this practice on a local and national level. Regardless of what you’re seeking, it’s possible to find an African American company with quality products and services as well as top-notch customer service.
Commit to subscribing to publications such asÂ Black Enterprise and EBONY; vacation or hold events at black-owned hotel/resort facilities such as Florida-based Innisbrook Resort; purchase beauty products manufactured by black firms such as Carol’s Daughter; or invest your dollars in mutual funds operated by asset managers such as Ariel Investments.
To see what we can accomplish, look at radio host Warren Ballentine’s grassroots “Community Reinvestmentâ€ campaign, which encouraged individuals and organizations to make deposits at Durham, North Carolina-based M&F Bank. By the end of the initiative, the be 100s bank gained more than $1 million in deposits and, in turn, matched that sum to create a $2 million investment fund that providedÂ loans for area businesses and residents.
It isÂ outrageous for a race of people with buying power of close to $1 trillion to not reinvest in each other while standing around witnessing our own destruction. We must be as protective and vigilant in using our consumer dollars as we are with our vote. By doing so, we’ll find the campaign to support black-owned business will fully deliver on its promise.