February is Black History Month, an opportune time to recognize Black-owned businesses and their impact. Historically, Black entrepreneurs have played a profound role in shaping the U.S. business landscape.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed how disproportionately Black entrepreneurs have been affected, especially Black-Owned, Woman-Owned businesses.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) revealed that Black business owners have experienced the largest losses, eliminating 41 percent of Black-owned businesses. Woman-owned businesses were also disproportionately hit, closing down a quarter of their businesses. (Forbes)
Black entrepreneurs are dynamic and resilient, representing immense economic potential – something amplified for Black Women. Business impact NW is dedicated to working with a number of Black-owned businesses who remain resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the businesses within the Business Impact NW network that you can show your support for all year-long:
The PaLacia ChamberLain Lee Salon Studio is a multicultural full hair care salon that customizes in salon services to enhance the best version of its customers.
“My experience as a Black-Owned business/entrepreneur has been an extraordinary one,” said founder Palacia. “God has blessed me to be able to have a Black-Owned business that I can call 100% my own with great opportunities to positively represent my community, hire others, and impact every life around me for the better by creating the change we need to see. Business Impact Northwest has assisted me personally and worked with me faithfully by providing mentoring, endless support, education, resources, and inspiration. Being a successful Black Entrepreneur is possible. And, how you do that and inspire others to do the same, is likewise. It will not be easy, but it will most certainly be worth it!”
Palacia participated in Business Impact NW’s Impact Pitch 2020 competition as a Business Model Award finalist. Impact Pitch is an opportunity we provide for new and start-up entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea for cash funding.
Chef Jalissa Culinary Co prepares scrumptious food based on fresh, in-season local ingredients. The culinary company offers meal subscription services, corporate catering, special occasion events, personal chef service, and more.
“You gotta be brave, gotta be courageous. If I didn’t have my mom’s support, I couldn’t have done it. It takes working hard; if I don’t, I’d have to go back to working for someone else.” Jalissa mentions, “I want to support communities of color, but all walks of life are struggling. In the next phase of our business, we want to hire formerly incarcerated people looking for a fresh start and who are not able to seek employment from other companies.”
Jalissa was encouraged to take one-on-one business classes with Kerrie Carbary, a sustainable food business strategist and business coach working at Business Impact NW at the time. She also appreciated the experience of the Washington Women’s Business Center’s annual event, Celebrating Dreams, where she was able to network with other women business owners.
Central Cafe & Juice Bar LLC, created by Bridgette Johnson, is an eco-conscious cafe offering espresso coffees, fresh pressed juice lattes, smoothies, and teas in addition to pastries and deli items. Central Cafe & Juice bar is committed urbanism and to maintaining the historic preservation of their business’s building.
Bridgette was supported in the grand opening of her shop through Business Impact NW lending services, an experience she cites as “To get it really going and get over that hump, somebody needs to give you a chance. And that’s what I think you guys do…It’s really hard for people to get started, so I just want to thank you guys for taking a chance.”
Diverse Community Connectors (DCC) helps communities thrive by empowering them to grow strong connections from the inside, out. This Washington State-based community outreach business was founded by JMarie Johnson-Kola.
Three years after setting up her LLC, JMarie decided to focus on building her business. Enrolling in Business Impact NW’s Launch and Grow program was pivotal in DCC’s growth, she says.
“[The program] helped me to see that my business wasn’t just any old service, but a necessary and critical service,” she says. “It was exactly the guidance and push I needed at that time.”
This month, consider doing business locally with a Black-owned business, to see the impact and value of what they bring to our communities. We have the opportunity to make a change in the world and make an impact in the lives of others.
Business Impact NW encourages everyone to love Black-owned businesses not only during Black History month, but every month, all year long. By supporting more Black-owned businesses, especially those owned by Black Women, you can help create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership, credit building, and generational wealth for Black communities.
Have a business or do you know of one that is in need of lending services or small business support? Let Business Impact NW support your journey –
Launch Your Business: https://businessimpactnw.org/launch-your-business/
Grow Your Business: https://businessimpactnw.org/grow-your-business/
Fund Your Business: https://businessimpactnw.org/loan/
Discover More Black-Owned Businesses Near You and #SpendLikeItMatters: Intentionalist
Right Image on Banner Courtesy of Intentionalist