‘The Bounce Back’: How can the next president help Black businesses?

This week, the Dear Culture Podcast is dedicated to Black businesses, with our hosts asking the much needed question: 'Dear Culture, how can the next president help Black businesses bounce back?'

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As 2020 comes to a close and a new presidency is on the way, a lot of folks have questions about what the future will look like. Be it the state of our economy or public locations reopening in a safe way, Black people have been doing the work to keep our businesses alive and well.

Championing Black businesses is evident across many different platforms, including theGrio’s list of 50+ Black Businesses to support during coronavirus pandemic and Beyonce’s Beygood $1 million dollar social impact fund. This week, the Dear Culture Podcast is dedicated to Black businesses, with our lovely hosts theGrio’s Social Media Director Shana Pinnock and Managing Editor Gerren Keith Gaynor asking the much needed question: “Dear Culture, how can the next president help Black businesses bounce back?”

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“If we invest in Black communities, it’s an investment in the American economy. So what’s good for Black America is good for America,” says Gaynor.

Black people make 13.4% of the American population and we spend $1.2 trillion per year. With that amount of buying power, the government should consider expanding Black consumerism by investing in Black communities, organizations, and businesses.

Gaynor spells it out: When you invest in Black businesses, they hire Black people, and when people are employed, they’ll want to spend money. This formula “is really not complicated,” however, we’ve yet to see an administration “hyper-focus helping Black business owners” with or without a pandemic, Gaynor notes.

“In terms of our buying power and the Biden-Harris administration impacting legislation and being successful in supporting Black business, I doubt it,” says Pinnock.

As the Dear Culture hosts point out, “the problem is that America is inherently racist” and legislation reflects that. Regardless of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman vice president, when it comes to the Biden-Harris administration, a good amount of Black people are hesitant to gleam with hope just yet.

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There’s been a lot of promises made on the campaign trail, with Biden saying he’ll “leverage $150 million dollars in new capital and opportunities for small businesses that have been structurally excluded for generations.” Though Gaynor is hopeful he holds his end of the bargain, Pinnock is skeptical until action occurs.

“We cannot underestimate the hatefulness of white people and the underhandedness of white supremacy,” notes Pinnock to Gaynor. 

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Both Gaynor and Pinnock agree that this new presidency must focus and address inequity at large. Especially when it comes to communities that have built this nation from the ground up, such as Black people and Indigenous peoples they remind us. 

“The same way Germany can profusely apologize for the Holocaust, the U.S. can focus on Black and Indigenous folks specifically because they are the most wronged in this country. Point, blank, period,” says Pinnock.

As the countdown to inauguration continues, the Black community is definitely going to evaluate how the Biden-Harris administration specifically addresses structural inequity for our communities. 

Tune in Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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