2020 is a year that we will all remember for great changes.  For Black Friday, the old days of early morning crowded stores and long lines for super sales might be memories of the past. Now is the perfect time to redefine the concept of Black Friday in general.  As Black Friday deals are moving online and extending through the whole month of November, the trend of spending more meaningfully should be our highest priority.  At SF Bay Black Biz, we are urging people to redefine Black Friday by focusing on shopping at Black-owned businesses.  This redefinition does not have to be confined only to 2020.

According to a 2020 study done in August by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the outlook for Black-owned businesses is grim.  Black business owners are twice as likely to succumb to financial burdens that lead to closure during the coronavirus pandemic than other small businesses.  The recent highlights of racial injustices within our social systems have prompted many to take action and open their wallets to Black-owned businesses.  Larger corporations are creating programs, guides and business resources for Black-owned businesses to increase access to partnerships and capital.  These efforts are fantastic, but much more is needed on a long term basis to overcome barriers of economic distress. 

A 2016 study by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research explained how even before the pandemic, Black owned businesses were at a much higher level of financial distress than their white counterparts. Barriers like having a 65% lower amount of start up cash, being disproportionately located in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, being intentionally excluded from financial institutions and a lack of access to mentorship opportunities make it difficult to scale the business and earn revenue.

Redefining Black Friday as a day where we intentionally spend our dollars at a Black-owned businesses is a good shift in our collective efforts to create community centered, long term supportive systems for the Black community. This year on November 27th, choose to shop in at least one Black-owned business. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.  Since many retailers have gone online, we can all shop from the comforts of home and order items to arrive in time for the holidays.  If you live in Northern California, our directory website at www.SFBlackBiz.com has over 1,000 businesses you can patronize on Black Friday. 

Together we can break down the structural barriers with coordinated actions like consciously shopping Black. Every intentional dollar that is spent in the Black community is helping to alleviate disparities and help the community prosper. This Black Friday and every year after, commit with us to shop more and more Black.

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