NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As our country fights against two pandemics, the coronavirus, and systemic racism, a local woman is helping Black business owners get back on their feet.
“I hope this is the start of something great,” said Danielle McGee, founder, and CEO of Black Business Boom. ”The goal is to connect Black business supporters with Black-owned businesses.”
Vondell Richmond, a Clarksville council member is backing McGee’s efforts saying, “Historically, we vote Black, church Black, and party Black. Now, it’s time to buy Black.”
McGee, recently launched the website ‘Black Owned Nashville,’ it’s basically a database for finding any and all Black-owned business.
“We are giving them the exposure they need to be successful, we’re driving people to the site and offering deals to encourage people to go spend money right now.”
But why now?
Richmond says it’s because if we want to practice what we preach, we must help the Black community not only with our words but our actions— meaning, we must support Black-owned businesses.
“Only two percent of every dollar is invested on a Black business,” Vondell said, adding it’s time for a change. “Wealth building through entrepreneurship would help short up the Black middle class which is what we need.”
And the need keeps on growing as the Coronavirus is hitting Black-owned small businesses disproportionately with the New York Times reporting more than 40 percent of Black business owners reported they weren’t working in April, during the height of the virus, while only 17 percent of White small business owners said the same.
“We were disadvantaged in the first place, you know, before COVID-19, many of these businesses were struggling operationally as well, not having the capital they need to truly have a marketing budget,” said McGee.
McGee said she’s hoping that can soon change.
“We see Black women have been opening these businesses at an astronomical rate but the revenue has been low, you know, there’s still a huge revenue gap for Black women-owned businesses specifically,” said McGee.
“These are some things we can do to stimulate the Black economy and ways, you, the non-Black community can come alongside and say ‘okay, this is how we can right a long history of wrong.’ While it may not stamp out the ugliness of racism, it’s something we can begin to do because one thing I do know is while America may have its challenges with Black and White, the one thing America respects is green,” said Richmond.
BlackownedNashville.com launched two weeks ago and already has more than 850 businesses listed. McGee’s app has been submitted to be approved and she’s hoping it will be approved within the next week.