You can make a meaningful difference for Black-owned businesses without spending any money. Check out the ways you can support these companies for free.
We’re all probably somewhat burned out on hearing how “unprecedented” or “uncertain” these times are. Here’s what these times really are: important. In a time when the fight for equality in the United States has captured the spotlight and generated true momentum, your actions matter. You have the opportunity to make a difference and support the causes you believe in.
Many people have taken to the streets to peacefully protest the treatment of Black Americans. Others have joined the effort with their wallets as they donate to organizations they believe will help facilitate change. You would like to make a difference by supporting Black-owned businesses, and that is a fantastic way to have a positive impact on the transformation of our country.
Yes, if you feel compelled and have the means, you should try to spend your money with Black-owned companies. However, there are many ways you can support Black small business without buying anything!
Maybe you’ve already got a few organizations in mind that you’d like to back. Or perhaps you would be interested in some resources to help you find your new favorite Black business to champion. Before we dive into some great ways to support Black business for free, here are some useful sources of information:
- Use the Black Nation app to find Black-owned businesses near you.
- Search over 5,000 Black-owned companies and even get notifications when you are near one with Official Black Wall Street.
- Tap into the Support Black-Owned database of companies where you can search by location or category.
Have a few companies in mind you’re ready to help now? Help them out by buying from them when you can, but here are some excellent ways to support Black-owned businesses with no money.
Way to support Black businesses without purchasing anything #1:
Connect and Share on Social Media
Liking, following, and sharing posts from the social media pages of Black-owned businesses is a simple and easy way to help out. Spend a few extra moments commenting on posts and joining the conversation. Subscribe to their YouTube channel, follow their Instagram account, retweet their tweet, or share a post about them on your social media platform of choice. These engagements will boost their visibility, help them grow their audience, and can do wonders for their marketing goals.
Way to support Black businesses without spending money #2:
Leave a Review
These days, reviews can make or break a business. Many people won’t buy anything before first browsing some online reviews. While you might not have left a review for every purchase in the past, consider doing so more frequently – especially when it comes to supporting Black-owned businesses. Whether you’re dining at a restaurant, purchasing a new skincare product, bringing home a couch, or downloading your next e-book, take a moment to rate and review your experience. Your words are more powerful than you know, and spending a few moments to share your thoughts can seriously help small businesses grow.
How to support Black-owned businesses with no money #3:
Tell The World
Any time you have a good experience with a Black-owned business, take a moment to share your feelings with friends and family. Whether you do so privately or publicly is up to you, but the more people who learn of your experience, the better. We’re more likely to buy from companies when folks we trust have endorsed them. Sharing your favorite brands, products, and services with people you know is called word-of-mouth marketing, and it is an incredibly powerful way to help Black businesses that won’t cost you a dime.
How to support Black small business without buying anything #4:
Frequent Their Website
Some of the simplest techniques can be very effective when you’re trying to support Black small businesses. Quality website traffic is incredibly important. As you visit the websites of Black business owners, take time to read through their blog and visit various sections of the site. The resulting analytics help them understand which parts of the site are most engaging, what content they should create more of, and where traffic comes from. This task may seem inconsequential, but doing so can be more helpful than you might expect as it can also help their websites rank higher in search engines like Google.
Way to support Black-owned businesses for free #5:
Register for Newsletters
While you’re on their website, sign up for their newsletter. Email marketing is a great way for businesses to connect with their customers, and it’s also a nice way to support Black-owned businesses. Some brands may send coupons and sales promotions, while others may use email newsletters to update their customers on their offerings. Your role in this goes beyond just signing up for the email list though. Actually open and click through some of the information provided. While you don’t have to read every single email you receive, engagement rates matter. You can even forward the newsletter to someone you know if it has information or a promo you think they might be interested in.
How to support Black small business for free #6:
Volunteer Your Time
Do you know a Black small business owner who could use help setting up for an event or organizing a shipment of new products? Volunteer a couple hours of your time to help them out. Are you familiar with someone that has young kids who works for a Black-owned business? If childcare is a challenge for them that might be inhibiting their ability to work, volunteer to watch their kids once a week. If you look close enough, there are plenty of opportunities to donate your time in ways that will support Black businesses.
How to support Black small business without buying anything #7:
Volunteer Your Expertise
Do you have a skill that would be valuable to a Black business owner? Another substantial way to support Black-owned small businesses is to donate your expertise. Maybe you are a professional bookkeeper who could spend an afternoon helping iron out any wrinkles in their financials. Perhaps you’re an attorney that would consider offering a few hours of pro bono work. Know how to set up a Facebook page or Google business profile for a local business? Offer up your assistance. Chances are good that you’ve got a valuable skill or expertise. Use your connections and put yourself out there to see if any Black small businesses are interested in what you have to offer.
Way to support Black business for free #8:
Ask For Gifts
You might not be spending the money, but that doesn’t mean other people aren’t. And they might be spending it on you. If you have a birthday, wedding, baby shower, or any holiday coming up that you’ll be receiving gifts for, ask for presents from Black-owned businesses. Center your registry around gifts from companies with Black owners or ask for a gift card to your favorite Black-owned restaurant. If people are going to be getting you a gift anyway, why not facilitate that support of Black businesses?
How to support Black business for free #9:
Ask Retailers to Stock Black-Owned Brands
Black-owned businesses must constantly fight for shelf space in large retailers like Target and Walmart, but also in local and regional stores. A recent social media campaign called for such companies to pledge up to 15 percent of their inventory space for products made by Black-owned businesses. Sephora was one of the first retailers to sign up for the cause. Before the pledge, the makeup store featured just seven Black-owned companies on their shelves. Compare this with their total number of partner businesses – 290 – and it’s immediately clear how pervasive this issue truly is.
If your favorite retailer has not agreed to such campaigns, take a moment to encourage them to do so. A brief email, Tweet, or other social media post can be enough to voice your concerns and pressure them into doing right by Black business owners. When enough voices come together, significant change is possible.
Keep Up the Momentum
Black business owners can really use our help now, but continued efforts matter most. As the news cycle moves on, it’s important for consumers to do their part in lifting up Black-owned businesses. Don’t just undertake these supportive strategies for this week or this month. Make them a part of your usual routine.
Spending money with Black-owned businesses is awesome. But not all of us have unlimited funds to help boost these companies. Thankfully, we have something to offer that can also make a sizeable impact: time and effort. All it takes is a little of each to support Black business for free and help transform our world for the better.