Black-owned businesses have almost always had to struggle more than their white counterparts. They are hit particularly hard by the coronavirus as more than 41 percent of all Black-owned businesses are shut down in comparison to only 17 percent of white-owned businesses.
Adding to the repercussions of the shutdown are the effects of systemic racism and economic disparities between Black and white communities. Low-income communities do not have the resources to sustain themselves and need more support than ever from people.
Supporting Black businesses in your community strengthen your economy and ensure that the products are unique in their character and creation. Here are some businesses to support:
TELFAR is one of the most popular Black-owned businesses to break into the mainstream in the past year. Its assortment of clothing and other accessories have made them a staple in the New York scene, and their bags are infamous for selling out in seconds.
Owned by Telfar Clemens, the bags have reached a Supreme level of scarcity in the past year. Hype and social media have been incremental in growing TELFAR's influence in the fashion scene, and its pre-order system ensures that bots cannot spam its systems.
The bags come in a variety of different colors and sizes. This ensures that there is something for everyone, and nowhere is that more clear in the mantra of TELFAR stated on its website: “NOT FOR YOU — FOR EVERYONE.” This use of clarity and exclusiveness helps bring TELFAR mass appeal and expands its audience. Memes about copping TELFAR bags create a sense of connectedness among shoppers.
Demetrius Harmon is a Black creative who is well-known for his collection of You Matter hoodies and other outerwear. His drops have their own cult following and he commands a stable internet presence.
He is also very creative in his advertising, creating custom merch for Breast Cancer Awareness and Black History Month. His clothing and message are so important in the current age of comparison and the internet, and his work ethic and image always promote a sense of peace and genuineness.
Along with his clothing brand, Harmon is very vulnerable online in talking about the relationship between Black people and mental health. His Instagram captions talk about his mental health and how he feels within the world. This type of candid honesty is rarely seen from Black public figures and makes him especially important and unique for people to support.
Cyberspace Shop is an independent Black-owned online jewelry store that heavily contrasts with diamond heavyweights such as Cartier and Zara. With a store on Depop and Instagram, their jewelry is mostly focused on independence and uniqueness.
Its use of symbols and primary colors makes its pieces stand out in a beautiful way, and the prices are relatively cheap. The assortment of earrings, bracelets and chains are experimental and of great quality for an independent jewelry brand.
Seed Burger is a vegan restaurant located in New Brunswick. With a focus on sustainable living and health benefits, the menu features many fast-casual items like air fries and vegan ice cream. Many healthier alternatives tend to be expensive, which prevents low-income communities from eating healthy due to a price barrier.
The goal of Seed Burger is to introduce people to healthier fast-food options without the typical classism and price hikes associated with veganism.
Black-owned businesses are now put on a spotlight with the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Black communities. Making sure that Black businesses stay afloat ensures that communities cannot become gentrified and strengthens the importance of the quality of products.
Being aware of other’s struggles keeps empathy alive and allows us to shop in places where the money is most needed. Supporting Black businesses is beneficial for everyone involved and creates a more powerful and localized economy.