We loved celebrating National Black Business Month this month by visiting and supporting some of the wonderful Charlotte area black-owned businesses. The annual celebration was created in 2004 when engineering entrepreneur Frederick E. Jordan partnered with president and executive editor John William Templeton to start this annual event. It’s a time to reflect on the history of Black entrepreneurship and its impact on the economy.
Black entrepreneurs can be traced back to the late 1700s when free and enslaved black individuals owned small businesses such as tobacco outlets and barbershops. Between 1900 and 1930, the time known as the “the golden age”, segregation helped nurture black-owned businesses.
In 1900 Booker T. Washington founded the National Negro Business League, which is now known as the National Business League. It’s considered America’s oldest and largest trade group for black business owners. O.W. Gurley established the town of Greenwood and founded the first business in what would later become known as “Black Wall Street”. In August of 1970, the late Earl G. Graves published the first issue of Black Enterprise. Black Enterprise served as a guidebook for black entrepreneurs.
Between 2002-2007, the number of black-owned businesses increased by 60.5%. This is more than triple the national rate of 18%, reaching 1.9 million. According to the Annual Business Survey and Non-employer Statistics by Demographics 2018, more than 3.2 million Black-owned U.S. businesses were employing over 1.18 million workers. Some 19.4% of employer firms in 2019 were minority-owned, totaling about 1.1 million firms, and 2.4% were Black-owned. There are more than 3 million black-owned businesses in the United States. Charlotte is ranked 7th in the country with a percentage of black-owned businesses.
So, how can you help support black-owned businesses this month? Charlotte has organizations and groups that are dedicated to supporting black entrepreneurs and helping raise awareness of black-owned businesses in our community.
Black Owned Charlotte Inc.
This group supports the growth of Black-owned marketing agencies across Charlotte. BOCI also provides networking opportunities and special events to members.
The Charlotte Black Business Facebook Group
This Facebook group helps Charlotte’s Black business owners promote their services to others in the group. It also supports networking between black business owners.
CLT Black Owned
This group exists to increase the visibility of local Black entrepreneurs. It helps connect the public directly to Black-owned businesses they can support.
Shopping and dining at black-owned businesses is another great way to support all month.
Owner Chantelle Sauls, a medium/intuitive, offers a beautiful and serene spot where you can learn to manage your stress and emotions by taking a preventative approach to self-care. She helps bring awareness to the mind, body, and spirit. A Secret Garden offers everything from yoga, guided meditations, intuitive readings, and sound baths.
An East Coast-style pizza place from husband-and-wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson, located in Optimist Park. They specialize in gourmet East-Coast pizza. They also offer salads and sandwiches.
According to their website, Romeo’s Burgers sources plant-based products from Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods. Romeo’s Vegan Burger provides a hamburger that even non-vegans can enjoy.
Mert’s Heart and Soul offers Low Country and Gullah-inspired dishes such as shrimp, grits, and Charleston red rice.
Fumee’ Kitchen and Cocktails offers some of Charlotte’s finest handcrafted cocktails, deluxe small-course dining, and premium glass hookah.
August is a month to celebrate and recognize black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. Shop small and support Black Business Month to continue to elevate black-owned businesses in our community.
Dye Culik PC is a business and franchise law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. We chose to locate our firm in Charlotte because of the strong economic outlook and support of businesses. We're here to help with your business needs; contact us today to schedule your consultation at our place or yours.