Strivers’ Row Members Discuss the Real Deal on Being a Black Business Owner

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Building Black wealth should be at the top of all our priority lists. What’s the use of being ahead of the curve and influencing the culture if we aren’t in control of the profit? Buying Black isn’t just ethically responsible, but it help ensures that we move forward together as one people.

Plus, who doesn’t love boozy brunch at a restaurant with bomb food and good vibes? Or a shapeup by someone who actually knows your hair type?

But realistically, as Black businesses come to fruition, there are unique challenges that we face.

Particularly, in more expensive locations like New York City, Black business owners find that it’s become increasingly difficult to start and maintain their own businesses.

“Among the 25 largest cities in the United States, with over 500 Black-owned businesses, New York City is one of three to see a decline according to United States Census data,” said Michelle Dalzon, Founder and Chief Visionary of The Black-Owned Market.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many Black self-starters, but to see the exact numbers behind the issue is incredibly eye-opening. Many of the factors that we see affecting our own everyday lives, such as gentrification, lack of mentorship, and lack of resources directly affect the growth of these businesses.

“Nationally, the number of Black businesses grew by 2 percent in 2012,” Dalzon said. “New York City’s decline was 31.4 percent, the hardest hit was the retail trade sector with numbers falling from 2,294 to 558. It’s a sign of the impact of rapid economic changes sweeping through the gentrifying neighborhoods which have heightened the challenges that Black business owners face at every step of the process.”

Check out the video above to hear about the plights of Black businesses, how they handle real estate and financial matters, and what more we can do to support. You can check out each of the businesses and their profiles here.