31 Ways 31 Days to Support African-American Businesses in 2012
Thursday, Aug. 2 Invest in an African-American publicly-traded company such as Amarantus BioSciences, or American Shared Hospital Services
Friday, Aug. 3 Make an angel investment or use crowd-sourcing to support a startup company.
Saturday, Aug. 4 Book seats at the African-American theater company such as Chicago’s new Black Ensemble Theater
Sunday, Aug. 5 Attend and contribute to the work of an African-American church like Mother Bethel A.M.E. or First African Presbyterian in Philadelphia
Monday, Aug. 6 Contracting Accountability Day. Ask your local and state officials to boost job creation by investing in, contracting with and financing African-American community based businesses. Consult the 10 Key Factors for Black Business Success in Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition
Tuesday, Aug. 7 Spotlight on Uncle Sam Day. Connect with purchasers at federal agencies in your area to boost the 1.2 percent of purchases going to African-American businesses. Ask to see the small business contracting plans of major federal contractors.
Wednesday, Aug. 8 Higher Education Focus. Show support for HBCUs and ask other universities and colleges to utilize black businesses and fund research by black scientists and engineers. Many research universities are near black neighborhoods but contribute little to their progress.
Thursday, Aug. 9 Utility and Energy Focus. Invite utility companies to utilize localAfrican-American owned businesses, particularly renewable energy innovators like 510Nano or Excellatron Solid State LLC
Friday, Aug. 10 School the Administrators. Ask your school principals and school facility and purchasing officials about using more African-American-owned firms.
Saturday, Aug. 11 Visit one of the more than 100 African-American museums such as the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit or the Schomburg Center in New York. Support the national tour of the Kinsey Collection.
Sunday, Aug. 12 Support an African-American non-profit organization such as as NAACP, Urban League or Bay Area Black United Fund
Monday, Aug. 13 Open an account with an African-American financial institution like New Orleans’ Liberty Bank and Trust or Mechanics and Farmers in North Carolina. Find them at National Bankers Association
Tuesday, Aug. 14 Utilize an African-American contractor for building, remodeling, repair. Visit the National Association of Minority Contractors.
Wednesday, Aug. 15 Book a stay or an event with member hotels of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers NABHOOD.
Thursday, Aug. 16 Make an appointment with members of the National Medical Association or National Dental Association
Friday, Aug. 17 Connect with a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers about housing opportunities
Saturday, Aug. 18 Buy products from a black-owned beauty products company, support black-owned beauty shops and barbers
Sunday, Aug. 19 Use environmentally-friendly products by black manufacturers such as ChloroFill, EnCap
Monday, Aug. 20 Support African-American beverage makers such as United Beverage Group or Heritage Link Brands.
Tuesday, Aug. 21 Utilize African-American software and online developers such as Sciberus, Next Galaxy Media, Right Direction Technology Solutions, DB Consulting, BCA, Logicore, or Powertek
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Visit an African-American bookstore like Marcus Books in San Francisco or purchase a book from a black publisher; attend poetry reading or book signing at sites like Sankofa in Washington, D.C.
Thursday, Aug. 23 Support black radio broadcasters by letting their supporters, advertisers know that you listen to black radio like KPOO 89.5 in San Francisco
Friday, Aug. 24 Subscribe to a black-owned newspaper or magazine
Saturday, Aug. 25 Purchase a video or buy a seat for a black filmmaker’s work
Sunday, Aug. 26 Purchase gospel CDs or videos
Monday, Aug. 27 Select an African-American independent school or tutorial service for your child; use ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage to provide culturally-responsive content; select African-American educators for professional development
Tuesday, Aug. 28 Purchase back to school items from African-American retailers including clothes, electronics, school suppliers or form buying clubs to gain reduced prices
Wednesday, Aug. 29 Buy automobile from an African-American dealer
Thursday, Aug. 30 Invest with an African-American securities dealer/fund manager/private equity broker.
Friday, Aug. 31 Make a political contribution to the African-American candidate or campaign fund of your choice.
Our objective is to gain the maximum job creation by marshalling concentrated buying power. Only five percent of African-American-owned firms have employees. A boost of 100 additional steady customers can generate enough income for an additional worker.
Supporting larger firms creates an ecosystem where smaller retailers can thrive. The economic development impact of churches, non-profits and historically-black colleges and universities should not be underestimated.
Even if one is not individually able to find or support a black firm, it is important to lend your voice to the advocacy of increased procurement by government agencies at the federal, state and local levels with African-American owned firms, particularly in manufacturing.
Even the most mundane task, like supplying school lunches, or digitizing medical records, can create major enterprises.