August has been designated Black Business Month. But what does it mean and why does it matter?
August is National Black Business Month
First, Some History and Data
August was designated as National Black Business Month by historian John William Templeton and engineer, Fredrick E. Jordan in 2004. Its purpose is to drive policy agendas that impact Black and Minority-Owned Businesses Enterprises (MBEs).
Fun Fact: The first Black millionaire was Madam C. J. Walker, a businesswoman and philanthropist. After 100 years, the company she founded, The Madam C. Walker Company launched a new hair-care line this spring! MBEs and entrepreneurs all over the world are launching new lines, solving business problems, employing millions of employees, and impacting their communities.
There are over 134,000 MBEs in the United States, and while the entrepreneurial spirit lives strong, there are challenges that this group of business owners.
Challenges Facing Black Business Owners
For example, economic recovery is, on average, more difficult for MBEs as they are 20% less likely to be approved for a loan from a bank. This was recently highlighted during the initial COVID-19 Federal aid package that required business owners to go through a third-party lender like a bank or credit union. This was adjusted in May of 2022 to adopt other ways to apply for PPP loans. (McKinsey.com)
Also, according to Score 41% of MBEs say their personal finances got worse during the pandemic and that they are in financial debt due to health care costs.
According to Fortune.com and the Federal Reserve, Black business owners are more optimistic about their success even while they still face ongoing challenges accessing capital, credit, and financial services.
What is the Impact and What is Being Done to Increase Equity?
MBEs across the country are facing the challenges that all business owners face but often on a different scale. There are organizations across the country that provide mentorship and networking opportunities to MBEs and minority business owners.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council and its Regional affiliates are one of them. Their goal is “Advancing Economic Equity Together.” By connecting MBEs to corporations in and beyond the supply chain, MBEs are able to generate billions of dollars in economic output, tax revenue, and sustainable jobs. The economic impact to minority communities is substantial.
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses get off the ground and connects them to successful businesses and volunteers through mentorship programs. SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs since its inception in 1964.
Why This Matters to Panther
The Panther Group is a certified MBE and believes very strongly that our impact on the community is positive, effective, and powerful. Our deep involvement with the NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Develop Council) and its Regional affiliates allow us to mentor and support other certified MBEs at many levels.
Our commitment to Diversity includes a commitment to Supplier Mentorship, Procurement Diversity, and Supplier Diversity. This commitment helps Panther partner with companies to build Diverse Workforces because we believe it is always worth the time, effort, and resources.
Data continues to show that companies that are purposeful about building a Diverse Workforce are more likely to outperform their competitors, capture new markets, and to have higher revenue than companies that don’t.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are core components of who we are as a business, and we are proud of it! Supporting MBEs is aligned with the Panther Mission and Core Values. Happy #BlackBusinessMonth !
When you partner with The Panther Group for your staffing or recruiting needs, we make sure we get to know you, your business culture, expectations and goals. We want to be a true business partner and resource for you.
As a workforce management partner, we offer flexible staffing solutions to help you adapt to a changing economy. As one of the most trusted engineering, accounting, and finance staffing firms, Panther can help you find professionals who will thrive in your organization and have a positive impact on your business. Contact us today.