There’s many theories about why more black people don’t support black owned businesses. You would think that more black people would shop where their people own the stores and create the products/services, but unfortunately, many do not. Why is this?
I have two main reasons for why I believe this is. The first reason is price. I know how important it is for black people to support their own businesses, so I went searching for some black owned businesses online to shop one day. I have to admit many of the prices at black owned businesses are ridiculous, I’m sorry to say. When other people point out how high the pricing is at a lot of black owned businesses, people love using stereotypical deflecting and shaming tactics, like “You people complain about these prices, but love buying iPhones and Jordans” or “Black people need to stop being so cheap!”, instead of acknowledging and admitting that the prices are a problem and we need to get together and find a solution for it.
If we don’t admit that the prices are a problem, nothing is going to get done about it. The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging and admitting that there is one.
I know the businesses in this society are built on a supply and demand basis, so I know a lot of black business prices are high not because they want them to be, but because the demand for their products and services aren’t as high as it is at other places, being that it is a smaller business. So, since the demand is lower, the prices are higher. The only way we can fix this is if more of us start supporting them, but I know it’s hard for many people to shop at a store where the prices are out of reach to them.
People want to complain about how black people would rather shop at the Walmarts and Targets of the world than black owned businesses, but what they always conveniently fail to tell you is that at Walmart and Target, you can pretty much get anything you want at a good price there. Unfortunately, we can’t do that with many black businesses. People go where they can stretch their dollars and get the most things for their budget. And that isn’t just a black thing. ALL races of people do that.
The next reason I have is location or availability. In many neighborhoods across America, black businesses are few and far in between. Many people have to go a little (or a lot) out of their way to get to a black business. Sadly enough, other races of people have more businesses in our neighborhoods than we do. So, people go to the businesses that are closest to them, where they don’t have to walk or drive too far out of their way. And again, that isn’t just a black thing. All kinds of people shop at places that are near them.
In my opinion, a lot of black businesses are unfortunately inconvenient to many black people. In order for more black people to support other black businesses, I think we have to have our businesses give the convenience (if not MORE convenience) that other businesses give.
I don’t believe black people shop at every other store because they don’t want to support their own people, like I’ve heard some people say. I believe they shop at every other store because every other store is more convenient for them.
Many of us love repeating that statistic about how long a dollar circulates and changes hands in other communities compared to ours, but we always tiptoe around why that is.
I think on this subject we do way too much dancing around the pink elephant in the room. And that pink elephant is that we are VERY FAR behind other races when it comes to business. One of the things that surely proves that we’re behind other races is that other races of people don’t have to pull shaming tactics to get people to shop at their stores. We don’t hear the owners of Walmart and Target saying, “If you can buy XY and Z, you can shop at our stores”. But we feel the need to say it.
The only way we’re going to catch up is if more of us start realizing how important it is that we need businesses and need to create and control our own resources.
There’s no reason for every other race of people to have more businesses in our neighborhoods than we do, especially since it’s not like that in their neighborhoods. We don’t own a bunch of businesses in their neighborhoods. They own their own. It’s been way past due for us to do the same.
There’s a video I stumbled across by a YouTuber named Chrissie, who has a video speaking about why black people don’t shop at black owned businesses, which I have included in this post, and she said pretty much the same thing I’m saying now, but one interesting thing she said that I didn’t think about is that a lot of times, we resent products and services that are made specifically for us.
We hate when other races of people don’t include us in their ads or whatever, but when it’s something created just for us, we hate that it doesn’t include others. We think it’s racist. We’re so stuck on inclusivity, including everybody else into whatever we have, that a lot of us are not ready to accept a business that caters strictly to us.
That’s one thing we have to get out of as well. I don’t think we fully understand that people are supposed to cater to their own people. When they make a product or service, they’re usually not making it to cater to other people, even though they don’t discriminate against who can buy the product. That’s what we need to start realizing. We need to start realizing that nobody is supposed to build and cater to us BUT US!