UW Combined Fund Drive

August 13, 2021

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Photo: Central Cafe and Juice Bar / Seattle, WA

While August is National Black Business Month, we recognize and support black-owned businesses in our community and country that make an impact on our daily lives year-round. Beyond just the retail component, this recognition gets at the systemic wealth discrepancies inherent in our economic structure. 

According to the study The Economic State of Black America 2020, the median wealth held by Black families is $17,000. That amount is $171,000 for White families — a ratio of 10 to 1.

National Black Business Month was founded in 2004 by two entrepreneurs who struggled to procure financing for their own business endeavors. The recognition in August drives awareness and consumerism toward Black business support as a path for creating sustained, multi-generational wealth.

Black-owned businesses comprise about 10% of U.S. businesses and about 30% of all minority-owned businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Common black-owned businesses range from consulting services to restaurants, with 40% of black-owned businesses falling into areas such as health care and social assistance. 

As of 2019, there were nearly 125,000 black-owned businesses in the U.S. Of these, women operate nearly 60%.

Despite this, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately hurt minority-owned businesses during the past year, especially black-owned businesses. According to National Geographic, 41% of black-owned businesses have been shut down due to the pandemic, in contrast to only 17% of white-owned businesses.  

Photo: McBride Sisters Winery, Oakland CA / McBrideSisters.com

Support

While we should uplift and support minority-owned and black-owned businesses year-round, there are many ways to observe and celebrate this national recognition throughout the month of August: 

  • Shop local – Rather than putting your dollars toward large corporate stores, support small black-owned businesses and restaurants in your community. Check out this page for resources and tools for supporting Seattle’s black communities. 
  • Follow the hashtag – With good intentions, social media can be a great resource; Use hashtags such as #NationalBlackBusinessMonth, #ShopBlackOwned, and #SupportBlackBusiness to find businesses to support.
  • Hold others accountable – In supporting black-owned businesses, small businesses and vendors need to hold each other accountable for being inclusive, whether that be in local organizations or civic groups.
  • Spread the word – share your favorite black-owned businesses or restaurants with friends and family by word of mouth or on social media! So much of business is about getting good coverage and PR, so share and support often.
  • Check out these black-owned business websites of businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Eating out? Here are some black-owned restaurants in the Northwest.

Donate

You can make a one-time gift or set up monthly payroll deduction through the UWCFD to support Black entrepreneurs such as these:

  • Everybody’s Gotta Eat – Community Meal Program serving free food Thursdays and Saturdays 2-6 pm. From That Brown Girl Cooks!
  • Feed the People – Community Kitchen by Chef Tarik Abdullah, typically open Thursday through Saturday 1-6 pm, including vegan meals on Fridays. Check their instagram for latest information, read more about them from Seattle Eater and King5.
  • Plant-Based Food Share – An organization that focuses on giving families and individuals healthy food—specifically plant-based foods—they need during these times of uncertainty. Delivering to Seattle on Sunday and Monday and Federal Way on Friday. Donate here or Venmo chefariella (foodshareseattle)!
  • Seattle BIPOC Organic – Supporting a variety of BIPOC organic food projects, including the above Plant Based Food Share, BIPOC farming in Seattle, and more.
  • Ujamaa Food Circle – Collaboration between Black Star Farmers and Seattle BIPOC Organic to help  BIPOC families achieve food sovereignty by providing monthly healthy organic food boxes that nourish and educate, while honoring the foods of their ancestors.
  • Gathering Roots Retreat & Wellness Center – They say it best themselves, “…a Black led, Indigenous and POC centered wellness collective working to heal intergenerational trauma and provide place and space for JOYful growth! Through community wellness/activist teachers and sharing space with our farm, we intend to cultivate food and cultural sovereignty. ” Currently offering online events here.

Resources for Business Owners

  • Amazon Black Business Accelerator is dedicated to helping build sustainable equity and growth for Black entrepreneurs by enabling their success as sellers. Available benefits includes financial assistance, business education and mentorship, and marketing and promotional support.
  • Digital Undivided’s The Do You Fund: Up to $500 micro-investments for Black women entrepreneurs
  • Small Business Resiliency Assistance from Startup WA, for business owners from culturally and historically disadvantaged communities
  • Comcast RISE– Beginning November 28, 2020, all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) business owners are eligible to apply for Comcast RISE, a program which helps provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services. Currently accepting applications only from Black owned businesses. Click here for more information and here to apply.
  • See more small business and individual resources on our Support Hub