Resources to Support Black-Owned Businesses

Last updated: January 4, 2022 | By Ivy Sieff

Reading time: 4 minutes

Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the driving force behind our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses employed 46.8% of the workforce and represented 99.9% of all businesses in 2021.

At Valpak, our mission is to improve people’s lives via three simple components:

  1. Businesses built on the traffic we drive
  2. Savings consumers enjoy at those businesses
  3. Neighborhoods that thrive from the combination of 1 & 2

And we mean all businesses and neighborhoods.

Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses Through Challenges

It starts by identifying ways to help local minority and Black-owned businesses, whose owners make up 19% of all business owners in the U.S. Of the more than 3 million Black business owners, nearly 135,000 are employer firms with 1.3 million Americans on their payroll. Early in the pandemic, Black-owned businesses felt a massive blow; between February and April 2020, Black business ownership rates dropped 41% – the highest decline among all racial minority groups. In a recent survey, “2021 Trends for Black Entrepreneurs,” Guidant Financial found 24% of Black business owners lost revenue in 2020 due to the pandemic. Furthermore, 53% Black respondents who participated in the survey did not receive financial aid via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).*

As of September 2021, Black-owned businesses are up 38% compared to the February 2020 (pre-pandemic) numbers. While the figures are promising, there is still more to be done.

The top 3 challenges (non Covid-related) Black business owners face:

  1. Lack of capital/cash flow
  2. Marketing/advertising
  3. Time management

Below are some business resources (government agencies, private sector enterprises and nonprofit organizations) to assist Black and minority business owners, from funding opportunities to business development programs and growth to advocacy and influencing change:

Financial Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses

8(a) Businesses Development Program – Spearheaded by the SBA, this government program helps minority business owners with access to federal grants, capital, financial assistance and other business resources.

Coalition to Back Black Businesses – Founded in partnership with American Express, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses provides immediate financial assistance and long-term support to Black-owned businesses.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program – Offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the DBE program protects small business owners from discrimination when attempting to acquire contracts related to federal transportation jobs (federally assisted highway, transit, airport and highway safety) nationwide.

Millennial Entrepreneurs Redefined – Funded by the U.S. Black Chambers Community Economic Development Corporation, this program is for aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 who have yet to start a business or have an emerging business with less than $10,000 in capital/revenue.

Minority Business Development Agency – A division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth of minority businesses and access to financing resources and funding opportunities.

National Association for the Self-Employed – Offers grants through an ongoing application process to small business owners who are NASE members with up-to-date dues.

Business Development and Growth Resources

Black Enterprise – A newspaper and online publication that highlights the work Black business owners are doing across the country.

Black Women Connect – An online community and social network for career-driven Black women entrepreneurs.

Capital Pathways – A workshop hosted nationwide by the Minority Business Development Agency that arranges credit counseling, entrepreneurship education and training from local lenders, investors and contractors.

Metropolitan Economic Development Association – MEDA provides financing, training, networking, mentoring and opportunities for BIPOC-owned businesses.

Minority Business Development Agency – The MBDA, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth of businesses owned and operated by minorities.

National Black Chamber of Commerce – Supports Black businesses with resources and events throughout the year.

U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. – The USBC is committed to providing leadership, advocacy and initiatives to Black business owners to advance economic empowerment and enterprise.

Resources From Nonprofit Organizations

Accion International – Provides financing to disadvantaged populations.

Black Founders – Focuses on increasing the number of Black entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

National Black MBA Association – Offers education and economic growth opportunities to its members.

National Minority Business Council – Presents business assistance, educational opportunities, seminars, related services and programs to minority-owned businesses.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council – The NMSDC matches minority entrepreneurs and BIPOC-owned enterprises to its network of corporate members to advance minority suppliers in the global supply chain.

Operation HOPE – HOPE’s Small Business Development project provides small-business workshops and training programs to individuals in underserved communities who aspire to own businesses but don’t have access to startup funding and traditional business training.

Champion Black-Owned Businesses and Influence Change

If you’re a Black business owner, or looking to support Black-owned businesses, you can influence change by:

How Valpak Can Help

Capital/cash flow is just one of the many challenges Black business owners face. Networking, mentorship, accessibility to resources/funding, time management and marketing and advertising are also hurdles. We’re here to help.

Valpak marketing consultants are on hand to help small businesses like yours grow with direct mail and digital marketing.

Contact your local Valpak office to get started and we’ll walk you through how you can reach thousands of targeted consumers in your community every month.

 

*The Small Business Trends survey was performed before the new stimulus act was passed into law and active as of January 1, 2021.