When people talk about minority business, they too often think only of businesses that are small and struggling. They talk about supporting these businesses in social service terms, as if they’re attempting to care for them instead of enabling them for success. Their focus is not on economic development and job creation, and it’s surely not on generational wealth. By thinking solely about small businesses, they miss a big opportunity when it comes to closing the equity gap. If you’re talking about growing Black-owned businesses and you’re not also talking about Black wealth, you are missing the transformational community opportunity.
Most small businesses are neither designed to grow nor to create significant wealth. Rather, their primary function is to provide products or services to their customers and income for the owners, their families, and their employees. When successful, these businesses provide the connective fabric that make a community unique. They create jobs, secure neighborhoods, and act as catalysts for additional investments in the area. They are foundational to healthy neighborhoods and to a thriving community.