Sustaining Black-Owned Businesses in the Twin Cities
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Founder of Minneapolis-based Black Business Enterprises (BBE) Nancy Korsah doesn't mince words in describing the support for Black businesses in the long months after George Floyd's murder. "Ninety-two percent of our allies abandoned us. They were there when it was hot, but well… 'We did our part,'" she says.
Other local business owners are more optimistic, but Korsah's experience hints that the wave of support that flooded the country may have dried up in some places.
It's about the long term
In the weeks immediately after Floyd's death, an outpouring of support for Black-owned businesses appeared, helping some shops see 4,400% year-over-year increases. Twenty-five retailers signed the 15% Pledge, an audited program which has the goal to add more Black-made products to store shelves. Yelp saw a 12,000% increase in searches for Black-owned businesses in June 2020 (which declined to 480% this March), and a poll of 400 Black business owners found that 75% had business increase from at least June to August 2020, according to the National Black Chamber of Commerce and Groupon.