Essay: If Sacramento’s Black entrepreneurs succeed through the pandemic, the entire community will thrive
By Chris Logsdon
As we start Black History Month, I encourage the Sacramento community to help celebrate and support local Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced immense, ongoing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a student of entrepreneurship and a board member of the Black Small Business Association of California, I am always looking to create opportunities that help other entrepreneurs and business owners, especially in the Black community, who face additional barriers and lack of resources in comparison to their white counterparts. Although Black-owned businesses have the highest start rate, they also have the quickest closing rates.
This was a problem I wanted to help address throughout Sacramento County when I moved to the region in 2015 from New York. In 2016, I created Sac Black Biz Community in 2016, a Facebook group that brings together Black business owners and entrepreneurs to collaborate. With about 6,800 members, we act as a pipeline to connect customers with black business owners. We also helped create a large digital database of Black-owned businesses in Sacramento County that is available to the public for free.
When the pandemic hit last March, Sac Black Biz Community became a central hub to receive free financial information, to learn about government assistance programs and free marketing opportunities and to get referrals. We have seen positive results from our Facebook group, allowing members to share information on important webinars on how to grow their business and how to participate in pop-up events to showcase their services or products.
A recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41% of Black-owned businesses have had to close their doors since March 2020. However, I believe that with continued community support, we can reverse these grim numbers.
I have witnessed our Sacramento community stand in support of Black-owned businesses following the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. Our community came together to not only march in solidarity but to spend their dollars at Black-owned businesses. Our local group experienced a 300% increase in followers and traffic.
I have witnessed our Sacramento community stand in support of Black-owned businesses following the Black Lives Matter protests.
By continuing this work, we at Sac Black Biz Community hope to continue to make a difference. When our Black businesses thrive, our community as a whole thrives. There is a domino effect that occurs when Black-businesses stay open. They contribute to our local economy, help close the racial wealth gap, create jobs and provide valuable services that celebrate the Black community.
To continue building on this momentum, I urge Sacramentans to join our Facebook group, share their favorite Black-owned businesses and help support these businesses by shopping at them or utilizing their services. By investing in Black-owned businesses, we are able to help their doors stay open and help our community survive this crisis.