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As Black Friday nears, Black business owners hope for shopper support – NBC News



Last Updated on November 24, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: Support for Black-Owned Businesses Wanes, Threatening Their Survival

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, a powerful social justice movement emerged, inspiring the #BuyBlack movement. The aim was to uplift and support Black-owned businesses, empowering entrepreneurs who have often faced systemic challenges. One such success story was April Showers, the creative mind behind the brand Afro Unicorn, who experienced a surge in sales thanks to the movement.

The #BuyBlack movement garnered significant support from individuals of all races, as many white shoppers embraced the cause by purchasing Showers’ unique products. This influx of customers not only contributed to her brand’s success but also highlighted the potential for economic empowerment through supporting Black-owned businesses.

However, the pandemic brought unforeseen challenges. As the initial wave of support for Black businesses started to fade, many entrepreneurs like Showers found themselves grappling to maintain their once-thriving businesses. In the face of fierce competition from major brands like Disney and Marvel on store shelves, Black entrepreneurs, who had hoped for continued national support, now face an uphill battle.

One such entrepreneur, Nicole Mitchell, the founder of Goddess Athleisure, has also noticed a decline in support since the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Mitchell’s business, much like many others, is struggling to stay afloat amidst limited sales and decreased visibility.

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Dionne Mahaffey, the founder of Culture Greetings, laments that the support for Black-owned businesses in 2020 may have been a fleeting trend rather than a lasting movement. Mahaffey points out that there has been a notable shift in attitudes towards diversity and equity, with companies appearing less focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. The consequence of this shift has been a direct impact on Black-owned businesses, leaving them feeling abandoned and overlooked.

Despite the challenging circumstances, Showers, Mitchell, and Mahaffey remain resilient. Showers continues to create captivating products and hopes that another national call to support Black-owned businesses will reignite enthusiasm. Mitchell is exploring new strategies to reengage customers and increase visibility, while Mahaffey is working towards building a sustainable ecosystem that encourages ongoing support for Black entrepreneurs.

The fate of these businesses and many others like them hangs in the balance. It is crucial for society to recognize the importance of consistently championing diversity in the marketplace. By actively participating in the #BuyBlack movement and supporting Black-owned businesses, individuals can contribute to a more inclusive economic landscape and ensure the continued success and existence of these invaluable enterprises.

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Juan is an experienced writer with a focus on business jobs and career development. He has a talent for crafting engaging content that helps job seekers navigate the complex world of business employment. With a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for helping others succeed, Juan has quickly become a sought-after voice in the field.

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