Black businesses remain largely unattractive to venture capitalists. As such, many Black entrepreneurs source funds through family and friends to launch or expand their business. Although the Black Lives Matter movement has shed some light on the challenges Black businesses experience, not much has changed.
Some social entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to highlight Black businesses through informal meetings and other formal events. Some social media influencers and Black media personnel are also playing their part by bringing to the fore Black-led businesses.
A Sacramento entrepreneur, Chris Lodgson, is also highlighting Black businesses in his region. He is the founder of Facebook pages Sac Black Biz Community, Sac Black Biz United, and Sac Black Biz Market, which are dedicated to Black businesses.
The purpose of these platforms is to bring Sacramento business owners, who are mostly African-American, Caribbean, and people of African descent, together to support one another. Also, Sac Black Biz United has become the first and only online source to finding Black Business and Event information throughout Sacramento.
In all, his group pages feature over 500 businesses and a membership of more than 10,000 people. Lodgson believes the creation of the Facebook business page, Sac Black Biz Community, is his contribution towards supporting Black enterprises.
“We measure ourselves by how well the businesses that we serve are doing and how well those businesses are serving their clients (and customers),” Lodgson tells Sacbee.
Aside from the business pages, the New Yorker has also raised thousands of dollars to support business activities for Black people in Sacramento.
Lodgson first migrated to Sacramento in 2015. “When I got here, I noticed that a lot of the same problems we were having in New York, in terms of Black folks, poverty, unemployment, our economic condition and our social condition too. A lot of the same problems that were in New York were happening here” said Lodgson. These factors pushed him to create his Facebook business pages.
In addition, he has announced a partnership with the app “Local Black Info.” The app enables users to find and support local Black-owned businesses, professionals, and events, according to news. Also, the partnership allows Sac Black Biz to market Black businesses in Sacramento and the U.S.
In the wake of protests against racial injustice and police brutality sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, there was a renewed support for local Black-owned businesses. Lodgson said he did not only help in highlighting Black businesses through his group page Sac Black Biz Community, but he was also able to provide a complete Sac Black Biz digital database of Black-owned businesses in the county.
“The database became a valuable resource for the community that was easily accessible and allowed people to find everything from Black-owned bakeries, barbershops, restaurants, floral arrangements, home maintenance and repair, plumbers and more,” he said.