Supporting Small and Local Black-Owned Businesses in Minneapolis

Restoring black-owned businesses

Sofia Perlman, Contributing Writer

A community that has been hit incredibly hard during the pandemic is black-owned businesses. Mass layoffs, closures, and reduced revenue have all been factors in this. Additionally, Recent protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd and many other instances of police brutality have also has a significant impact on black-owned businesses in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities. 

Black-owned businesses need your help to rebuild and restore. There are many black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities that you can support. Restaurants like Afro Deli & Grill and Soul Bowl are great places to eat. Clothing stores like Queen Anna House of Fashion, Captain Rebel, and Arway Bags offer a variety of styles. Small businesses are also extremely important in our economy, creating jobs and helping to build up wealth.

Supporting black-owned businesses helps close the racial wealth gap. The racial wealth gap is deeply rooted in segregation, job discrimination, and Jim Crow-era laws that forced African-American families into lower-paying jobs. According to Green America, the average white family is almost 12 times wealthier than the average black family. In Minneapolis, a study done by The Washington Post shows that black household income is only 44% of the median white household income. This shows the great disparity between black and white families in terms of wealth.

In an interview with NPR in late June, Gene Demby, from NPR’s Code Switch team, states that “the vast wealth gap between white people and Black people is the result of centuries of racist public policy. It wasn’t created by consumer spending. And so fixing this deep-seated problem is also a question of policy, not pocketbooks” showing how we also need to make changes to our government and policies. Demby says that Black people, then and now, have been cut off from the avenues that created wealth for white people because of things like segregation, because of things like institutional racism.” Demonstrating how these issues have been around for a very long time. By supporting black businesses, you are acknowledging the systemic racism in our country, helping black families build generational wealth, and improving our economy.