Opinion: Investing in Black Businesses Will Help Grow San Diego’s Economy

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Small business owner
Small business owner. Photo courtesy Small Business Administration

Over the past few years, Black entrepreneurs in San Diego have demonstrated resilience as they’ve launched and managed their businesses during one of the most challenging economies in recent memory.

Amid economic and pandemic-related challenges, Black business owners have thrived and are giving back to their community. According to research from Bank of America, 40% of Black business owners reported they are supporting local social causes.

August is Black Business Month, an important time for consumers to recognize and renew the role they play in supporting Black-owned businesses. While there has been growth in overall Black business ownership in recent years, Black entrepreneurs still face challenges that can hinder their success.

As a member of the community, there are many things you can do to support Black-owned businesses in San Diego. Below are three tips to get you started:

1. Make it a priority to shop at Black-owned small businesses. The best and easiest way you can support local Black-owned businesses is with your dollars. Every small business owner relies on a steady stream of customers to make ends meet, innovate and grow, which ultimately fuels the economy as a whole. Familiarize yourself with Black-owned businesses in San Diego and reinvest in your community when you shop.

2. Use your networks to amplify Black-owned businesses. Promoting a business you like can be nearly as important as patronizing it — there’s nothing better than a referral from a satisfied customer. Help businesses in your community attract new customers by promoting news and announcements and sharing positive experiences through social media and word of mouth. Many Black-owned small businesses are on popular social media platforms, so be sure to amplify their content and encourage your network to shop at Black-owned businesses in San Diego.

3. Share reviews online and on social media platforms. Help promote Black-owned business that provide excellent service or products by publishing and sharing positive online reviews. Reviews on popular websites like Yelp, Square and Google are critical services, which countless consumers rely on to make shopping decisions.

If you make a commitment to buy from Black-owned businesses during the month of August, whether once a week or more, it’s important to remember you’re helping to contribute to community wealth creation and development for these business owners and across the broader business landscape. When you support and invest in Black small businesses, you are investing in San Diego.

My company, Bank of America, is helping to close wealth gaps in communities of color and support Black-owned local businesses by investing in the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Foundation’s Black Community Investment Fund, and by supporting the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s efforts to expand paid job training for Black workers in the region’s growing technology and healthcare fields.

You can find more ways to support Black-owned small businesses and institutions in San Diego in this online list

Jorge E. Ceballos is the small business banker manager for Bank of America in San Diego




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