We know the pandemic has affected all small businesses, but it hasn’t affected everyone equally. Black businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Facebook’s forthcoming US State of Small Business Report revealed that businesses in majority-minority neighborhoods faced poorer business outcomes, including a higher closure rate (36% versus 22%).
Regardless of these challenges, many Black-owned businesses are showing resilience. Here are five pieces of advice from inspiring Black business owners whose businesses continue to flourish, despite the challenges of the past year.
Adapt to the virtual world. Today, many of us have become accustomed to living in a virtual world, from Zoom meetings to selling products online. Although this new norm can be difficult for customers and businesses alike, it’s important that we embrace it. Using online tools and resources is not something you just do in a pandemic, it’s a model going forward. I reach clients through Facebook and Messenger that I’ve never thought I’d be in the same room with. We need to adapt to online going forward. Don’t use online tools as a one-off. — Joy Williams (pictured above), owner of Joyful Designs
Approach any challenge with the right mindset. Staying positive during this challenging time can be one of the best decisions you can make for your business, even when the going gets tough. Sometimes all we need is a perspective change. I won’t minimize how hard it has been in the food and hospitality industry. But I’ve been through a lot in my life, and that’s given me perspective and the tools to be able to see through this incredible darkness. We make a choice and we can choose what path we take. Approach any challenge with the right mindset. — Olivia Colt, owner of Salt and Honey Catering.