Black Faces in Queer Spaces: Why Shopping Black Matters

With everything going on in our society recently, I’m sure you’ve seen articles on supporting black owned businesses. So how is this one any different? Well maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. That’s up to you to decide. ABC News attributes this rise in support to a desire for racial equality, a way to stand up to injustice.  This is such a positive trend, but we must ask, is it enough?
Being a fan of HauteButch, hopefully you’ve seen our GoFundMe campaign. If not, you can here.  You’ll notice HauteButch did not receive PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), even though money was set aside to help small businesses affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately, we were not alone. According to the Global Strategy Group, 12% of black or Latinx owned small businesses received funds from the CARES act. 12%!! As if that wasn’t bad enough, about 17% of white owned businesses have closed since the pandemic hit, while 41% of black owned businesses have had to close. That’s a 24% difference, which may not sound like a lot, but did you also know that as of February 2020, only about 4.3% of the 22.2 million business owners in the US are black?
In case math isn’t your favorite, I know it’s not mine, that means 391,386 black owned business owners have closed their doors since the pandemic. For those of you who are curious, there are still over 17 million white owned businesses open and less than 600,000 black owned businesses now. Even without the pandemic, black owned businesses have more obstacles to overcome including acquiring bank loans, investors and capital.
Companies like HauteButch have an added disadvantage. Not only are we black owned; we are also a queer brand. There have been multiple studies done, from John Schneider and David Auten to the US government, and they all come up with the same result – individuals in the LGBTQ+ community experience higher levels of financial instability or poverty and debt due to bias and discrimination. While this is not surprising in any way, it’s another layer of prejudice for black queer owned companies to combat. Schneider and Auten also recognized that members of the community who are not CIS gendered or white are marginalized.
So what can you do? What can we do??
Support these businesses. Search for black queer owned businesses. Opt to shop at restaurants, clothing stores, beauty brands, and anything else you can find that are black owned, queer owned or both! Be intentional with how and where you spend your money. YOU can make a difference to each and every company, one sale at a time. Every single choice you make matters.