As we continue celebrating Black History Month this February, we’d like to take some time to focus on Black-owned businesses. According to recent studies, there are more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in the United States. However, Black business owners receive less funding, less often, and at higher rates than their White-owned counterparts. Here is a list of useful financial resources specifically tailored for Black-owned businesses:
- Minority Business Development Agency – Established in 1969 within the U.S. Department of Commerce, this is federal agency that is geared towards the growth and global competitiveness of minority businesses. This agency provides clients access to financial capital, contracts, and markets. They also offer various programs that focus on networking, business development, and other business-related topics. Please visit their website for more information: mbda.gov
- Black Business Association – Founded in 1970, this organization is committed to having Black, and other diverse business owners, benefit from advocacy efforts to enforce policy that improves access to business opportunities within the public and private sector. They also provide constant support and access to financial resources and entrepreneurial training. Their main goal is to support the Black community and the survival of Black-owned business. Please visit their website for more information: bbala.org
- 8(a) Business Development Program – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) program helps financially disadvantaged small businesses secure government contracts. In order to qualify for this program a business must fall within the SBA’s definition of a “small business” and be at least 51% owned and controlled by financially disadvantaged individuals. Once accepted into the program, the certification lasts a maximum of 9 years. The 8(a) program helps to make the process of obtaining government contracts less intimidating. The program empowers disadvantaged businesses to compete at the same level as other businesses by assisting with the financial side of things. Please visit the following website for more information: sba.gov
- National Association for the Self-Employed – Founded in 1981, this organization offers everyday support and benefits to self-employed businesses, in order for them to have access to opportunities that are traditionally given to large corporations. This organization offers support in 4 main areas: Focused how-to resources, value-added benefits, legislative advocacy, and college scholarships. They recognize that the voice of a self-employed business owner can sometimes be overshadowed by large corporations, so they’re dedicated to having those voices heard. Please visit the following website for more information: nase.org
Black business owners continue overcoming decades of social and financial challenges. Their determination and commitment have allowed them to, not only survive, but thrive in today’s business world. We encourage you to continue honoring Black history and supporting Black-owned businesses even after this month has concluded.