Shreveport Bossier National Black Affairs Month Activities
The fact that dollars spent in the black community circulate for a much shorter period of time compared to other communities is evident across the country and in Shreveport.
Businesses like liquor stores and beauty and hairstyling stores operated by non-African Americans tend to locate in black communities. When these homeowners leave at the end of their day, those dollars go with them to the neighborhoods where they reside.
In light of this fact, August is designated National Black Business Month, a time when individuals and businesses recognize black-owned businesses across the country.
“The dollar only stays in the black community for six hours compared to 28 days in the Asian community and 17 days in the white community,” said Brittney Dunn, president of the African-American Chamber of Commerce in Shreveport-Bossier in a statement.
Billy Anderson, executive director of SBAACC, spoke to The Times about supporting black businesses.
“There are so many black-owned businesses in Shreveport that we can tap into and shop,” Anderson said. “We’re just trying to bring exposure to all of these different types of businesses. We want people to be intentional in supporting them. “
Anderson also spoke about the challenges faced by black business owners trying to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a now $ 953 billion business loan program established by the U.S. government in 2020. through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. (CARES Act) to help certain companies, the self-employed.
“Because of the way that traditionally many black businesses are created as first generation business owners, it was difficult for them to apply for that first round of PPP funding,” Anderson said.
Many black-owned businesses are like sole proprietorships and do not necessarily have payroll expenses, so it is not reflected in their books that they are paying people to work for them.
That’s because their employees tend to be family members working for the company and are paid in cash, Anderson added.
Additionally, many black-owned businesses are service-oriented and are often sole proprietorships, meaning they are the business owner and employee.
“The second round of PPP provided access to individual businesses,” Anderson said.
The SBAACC is now asking the Town of Shreveport and the Parish of Bossier what funding will be available if another shutdown occurs and / or if businesses return to limited capacity. They also want to know what plans are in place for black-owned businesses in terms of American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The town of Shreveport received $ 48 million in rescue funds, while Bossier City received $ 13,428,592.
“This money is for economic development and losses from the pandemic,” Anderson said.
As for dollars only circulating for six hours in black communities, Anderson said it’s a real challenge when you want to spend money to support a black business but often businesses where you would buy their daily essentials won’t. are not established in black communities.
“For example, we don’t have mid-size black-owned grocery stores in Shreveport or Bossier, so what to do when you need to buy food? Anderson said. “It is one of the great necessities that we need. The first thing we buy with our paycheck is food. So when you do that, your money is already out of the community.
The Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce has hosted several events to showcase, celebrate and support local businesses. The group is also launching a Buy Black 31 Day campaign.
“By purchasing Black for 31 days, we hope to increase the customer base for Black-owned businesses. We also want to raise awareness of the diversity of black-owned businesses in Shreveport-Bossier. “
Some of the activities of the month include:
The Comedy Show at the Lake, 9 p.m. on August 13, will take place at the Lake Street Bar. Local comedians will bring the jokes and laughs. The cost is $ 20 at the door.
Black business camp, August 27-28, will be held at Southern University in Shreveport Metro from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students will be immersed in several seminars covering everything from marketing and finance to compliance and customer service. Topics of the seminar include:
Marketing led by Drayden Dunn, President of Envision Media, and Kalli Combs, President of Social Pal Kal
Customer service led by Victor L. Thomas and Candice Ratliff
Legal led by Ebonee Norris of The Norris Law Group, LLC
Compliance led by Brian L. McNew, AIA, NCARB
The cost of participation is $ 10 for members and $ 25 for non-members. To register for this event, go to https://members.sbaacc.org/event/Details/business-boot-camp-380228?sourceTypeId=Website.
Black Food Truck Nights, on August 20, will be held at the Louisiana Daiquiri Café from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be several local food trucks, music and entertainment. This event is free and open to the public.
The SBAACC is the primary voice in Northwest Louisiana for the African American business community. The vision of the organization is to lead the charge for advocacy, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. To learn more about the SBAACC, visit www.sbaacc.org.