Across the world, through social media, protests and a raising of public consciousness, the fight for racial equality is growing. It’s time to start being actively anti-racist and make long term changes that will dismantle the racist systems inherent in our global society. This means not just challenging the behaviours we take for granted but creating new ways of structuring organisations and the economy, amplifying black voices and, as we explore in this blog, supporting black owned businesses.
13% of the UK population are BAME1but despite this, black people are more likely to live in poverty and are more likely to be unemployed2. Black owned businesses face significant challenges and have a harder time obtaining credit3. Divert some of your spending power and uplift these companies financially. Provide them with more revenue to spend on growing their businesses, investing in new products and marketing.
Investment in black creators doesn’t just help the individual businesses to prosper, but it helps BIPOC visibility too. For too long, social media feeds have been whitewashed by algorithms that benefit larger businesses. The algorithms and large marketing spend many organisations have means you miss out on the wealth of creativity and ingenuity from black entrepreneurs. We all know how important it is to share and promote small businesses. Engaging with black businesses on social media means that you increase their visibility and change this pattern.
Role-modelling is also important. Along with increasing accessibility and representation, it inspires other black entrepreneurs and changes the white norm, something which is really important in the fight against racism.
Supporting small businesses more generally massively benefits local communities. Unlike large corporations who get away with not paying their taxes or their staff, small independent and local businesses are often more likely to invest their wealth locally4. This is something we pride ourselves on at Sancho’s.
If you read our last blog about how fashion and racism are intrinsically linkedor follow us on social media, you’ll know that Sancho’s have always been and will continue to be active in the fight against racism. Recently, we reviewed our purchasing strategy and reallocated 30% of our budget to black owned businesses as well as creating a wealth of content for public access on our social media and our blog. But we want to go further.
As a BIPOC owned small business, we want to provide you with a directory of resources to help create long term change, increase visibility and support other black owned businesses…
How to support black businesses:
- Keep engaging with their social media by spreading their content on your stories, like, comment and DM. This will change the algorithms that usually work against them
- Subscribe to their newsletters to make sure you never miss out on new products
- If you buy something, tell your friends and family. This will grow the customer base for black businesses
- Sign the 15% pledgeto call on major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to black owned businesses
- Only buy from retailers who share your anti-racist values and actions. Challenge superficial acts of solidarity and call on large businesses to #payup and help POC owned production facilities to financially survive COVID-19 @remakeourworld
A non-exhaustive list of black & POC owned businesses to support:
Check out our last blog for some anti-racist educational resources too.
As consumers, you hold the power. You set the trends and decide where your money goes. By choosing to shop consciously and support black owned businesses, you are contributing to wider change for those in the black community and helping in the fight against racism.
Written by Alice Smith