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All Businesses Matter

It’s not a lack of initiative that’s keeping African-Americans from starting their own businesses, but instead a centuries-old racial disadvantage that’s not experienced by other minority groups

Many small businesses suffered throughout COVID and require help getting back on their feet, so shouldn’t we be supporting ALL businesses? This topic seems to breed the same questions, and in turn, the same explanations as the “All Lives Matter” vs the Black Lives Matter standpoint. Advocating for the support of black businesses does not mean that only black businesses matter, or that only black businesses need our help. It means that they need more recognition, aid, and endorsement in order to simply be at par with the privileges and opportunities that white businesses and their owners receive. It can be best explained using a popular and straightforward analogy.

When a house is on fire on a street, you turn your attention to that house to put out the flames. People don’t stand on their porches saying “well what about MY house?”, because those are not the homes that require attention. So as important as it is to be consistently supporting black businesses, it’s also equally important to understand exactly why the focus has been justly shifted specifically towards the backing of black owned businesses, now more than ever.

The stark reality is that black businesses and black business owners do not receive the same privilege and opportunity than that of a white business. Whether the factors are as specific as being more likely to be denied for a loan, or as general as the racial wealth gap, the discrepancy is as clear as day. The pandemic is not solely to blame, but it has certainly highlighted these existing economic imbalances. These are not new problems. Small businesses have been eaten by goliaths, such as Amazon, in the past few years at alarming rates.

But what does that mean to businesses owned by people of colour (in this case, black businesses specifically), that already have not been granted the same privileges as ones owned by white people. In the next article, we will be providing the facts and figures of this imbalance specifically in the business world, and truly how much harder it is for a black business and its owners to gain attention, to receive proper funding, to receive financial aid, and other ways they are gatekept from success.

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