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Final Thoughts on Black History Month 2024

Dear Founder,

Alrighty, so I have one final thought as we close out Black History Month. I want to express my pride in being black, in being a black man, and in being a black man in America. While I've been hesitant to contribute to the curated spaces celebrating black history online because I am of the Black History 365 mindset, but I will save that dialogue for another day. Tonight feels like the perfect moment to lend my voice through my Dear Founder newsletter.

Recently, during a conversation with my friend Chris about business, I recalled one of my favorite quotes: "people buy from people they know, like, and trust." In 2024, this quote holds even more significance in America, given the challenges of inflation and the lingering economic impacts of the pandemic. Yet, one area where this concept faces exceptional hurdles is within the black community.

During a dinner with friends in NYC last week (hey #forbesbLK fam), we discussed the importance of creating philanthropic opportunities within the black community for black causes. I passionately emphasized that, in 2024, one of the most philanthropic acts within the black community is supporting black businesses with our black dollars. However, as the aforementioned quote suggests, black businesses often face an uphill battle in gaining recognition, trust, and favor, particularly within our own community—an issue in itself akin to a pandemic we are still grappling with the residual socio-economic effects.

So, I pose this question to my readers: Over the past 29 days, how many black-owned businesses have you supported with your black dollar? As a black business owner who relies solely on my venture to provide for my family, my staff and their families, I understand now more than ever the significance of someone choosing to invest their hard-earned money in my business.

If you're a black individual struggling to connect with, appreciate, and trust black businesses, allow me to offer a few perspectives and help you reimagine and engage black businesses all year long. 

  1. Actively seek out black-owned businesses in your community or online. 

  2. Participate in local and virtual events, markets, or pop-ups that showcase black-owned businesses. These gatherings provide an opportunity to interact directly with business owners, learn about their products or services, and build relationships. 

  3. Follow and engage black-owned businesses on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Engage with their content by liking, sharing, and commenting. This not only shows support but also helps amplify their visibility to a wider audience.

  4. Take the time to learn about the challenges and triumphs faced by black entrepreneurs. Understand the historical context of systemic barriers and economic disparities that impact black businesses. This knowledge fosters empathy and a deeper appreciation for their resilience.

  5. Make a conscious effort to prioritize black-owned businesses when making purchasing decisions. Whether it's buying groceries, clothing, or services, consider choosing a black-owned option whenever possible. 

  6. Offer constructive feedback to black-owned businesses based on your experiences. This could include suggestions for improvement, compliments on what they do well, or sharing your positive experiences with others. 

  7. Spend at your level of comfort first, most businesses have products and services that are tier, if you are struggling with liking and trusting a business try the cheapest thing first and if they deliver to your satisfaction next time scale it up. 

Let me say this, I know the trust factor is huge because some of us have been burned or have felt misled by some businesses within our community. I am well acquainted and aware of those stories. In all honesty I haven’t always gotten it right as much as I endeavor to always deliver in excellence but when I didn’t my community allowed me to fix it when I came up short. On the other hand when I was done wrong by a black business I have offered grace, forgiveness and feedback when necessary. 

As we close this month, I renew my capacity to know, like and trust black business and encourage you to do the same. Why? Simply,  we need each other now more than ever and to never tear down a black business. I am proud to be black all year long. 

It all helps! Thank you! Looking forward to your insights, share your thoughts.

Always with love. 


- Sean

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