In the U.S., August is recognized as National Black Business Month. This was founded by Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan in August 2004 to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African-American businesses”. It’s an effort to celebrate and encourage Black-owned businesses and also recognize their vital contribution to the country’s economy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, black business owners account for about 10 percent, two million approximately, of American businesses and 30 percent of minority-owned businesses across the country. And for us, being a Black-owned business, this is a matter of pride.
Importance of Black Business Month
While Black-owned businesses should be recognized and uplifted throughout the year but it is equally important to have a dedicated timeline for raising awareness and to keep reminding. Even today, Black people face certain challenges while running a business that their white counterparts might not. For example- Funding still remains the top challenge for many Black business owners as they receive much less funding and have strikingly less access to capital than other businesses, making starting and sustaining new businesses particularly difficult.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest blow to these businesses, many Black-owned businesses marked record-low sales. It only touched a momentary high when support poured in from all around – after the US's 2020 racial reckoning, as protests erupted across the country following George Floyd's murder. But it didn’t last long.
The issue with funding that so many Black people and other minority groups in the US face roots from the lack of access to it. A study by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency shows that minority-owned businesses are less likely to receive loans than others, in cases when they do receive- the amount is much lower and, in some cases, they have even been denied loans. All this even though these businesses have contributed massively to job creation and the country’s overall economic growth.
It is important that we are aware of these happenings because change can only happen when we know about the gaps. And August being Black Business Month provides a platform to talk about the same.
What it means at Taylor Jay
At Taylor Jay, we take inclusivity very seriously; that’s one of our non-negotiables. Especially, being a Black-owned fashion business for women, this has been the central point of our work- making sure there’s a proper representation for every body type, every woman. And when we talk about inclusion, we mean it for every sector, most importantly in entrepreneurship. But lack of representation and biases from social construct has held us back, and we need to collectively work towards growing despite it, and abolishing this disparity.
It was a challenge that led our founder Taylor Jay to start this business- when the mainstream fashion brands didn’t cater to her body type, she tailor-made one for herself and now we are proud to do it for you. And this has been possible only because of the unhinged support from our kind customers who recognize us for our quality of work and our values.
This Black Business Month, let’s work together to educate each other, ask questions, discuss solutions and uplift the underrepresented.
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