Given the social climate, supporting black owned businesses has become a hot topic. When given a choice, black consumers should choose to support black businesses. If cost and quality is comparable to another business, it should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, in some cases, black businesses are forced to offer higher prices, which can be a deal breaker for black consumers.
When comparing these prices to other businesses, we should consider external factors, and acknolwdge that it's not necessarily fair to penalize black owned businesses, by supporting someone else. It's up to you to consider how high is too high, but if we understand that our lack of support is driving higher prices, perhaps we'll make an exception and #buyblack.
There are numerous systemic factors that lead to higher prices at black owned businesses. There are two that come to mind- limited access to capital and wholesalers. Access to capital is related to supply and demand; capital is generated through sales, and without the additional capital, purchasing from wholesalers isn't an option. Lower prices can also come from the ability to negotiate with wholesalers; however, having access to these wholesalers can be difficult for black businesses simply due to the color of their skin. Access to capital and wholesalers are not the only two systemic factors that lead to higher prices but are two that can be addressed by simply providing more “seats” at the table for diverse businesses.
Supply and Demand
I'm no economics expert, but simple supply and demand plays a role in the increased costs you may find at black businesses. Without the demand, black business owners cannot fully invest at scale to get better deals from suppliers which would save them money that would be directly passed onto consumers. Black consumers must think first to buy black. Black businesses must also consider creating products and services that appeal to consumers outside of the black community to survive.
Every Cent is an Investment
As consumers, we must realize that Every Cent we spend at a black owned business is an investment. Our economic power easily scales if people don't let slightly higher prices deter them from shopping black owned. Due to other systemic factors, we can't depend on one individual spending/investing a million dollars; however, we can easily have thousands or millions of black consumers spend/invest $1.00. I know that may be a simple example, but we must adopt this type of mentality when choosing where to spend our dollars.
This post isn’t telling you to spend out of your budget; however, we do encourage you to carefully consider spending the little extra at a black owned business when it does make sense. It is important to understand that every extra cent or dollar that circulates in the black community can and will help us use our economic power to make change.