BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — Although Black businesses are often staples in their communities, the challenges they face often go unnoticed. According to Federal Reserve Data, Black business owners are turned down for loans at double the rate of white business owners, and during the pandemic, Black business owners were 30 times less likely to get government aid. In addition, 53% of Black businesses nationwide saw revenue decrease by 50% compared to 37% of white businesses since COVID-19.
John William Templeton, who co-founded National Black Business Month in 2004, says the month is an effort to expand the support and existence of Black-owned businesses across the nation. Templeton says it's no secret that Black-owned businesses can be powerful vehicles for advancing economic empowerment and closing the racial wealth gap in the Black community.
“It helps your property owners hold on to their property and, you know, create a self-reinforcing place where a business leads to employment. Employment leads to education and health and housing.”
Michael Curry and Sharece Miller-Curry, owners of PAINT in Broadview Heights, say they hope to see more Black entrepreneurs push past barriers, including those formed within themselves.
“IUt’s very easy to be like, 'Oh because I’m this, I’m not going to get this,' or 'Oh, I look this way or I’m this tall or I’m this short,'” Michael Curry said. “We put a whole bunch of barriers in front of ourselves that block us from getting to the points we want to get to.”
Sharece Miller-Curry added, “the key thing that we always say is — if there’s a problem, there’s a solution. If there is no solution, there is no problem.”
Their new salon, described as a place for healthy alternative pampering, opened about a month ago.
“Everybody loves to be pampered. Everybody loves to be treated well and that transcends color, race, everything,” said Michael Curry.
To learn more about helping Black-owned businesses, click here.
Black Business Month was also the subject of the latest Voices for Change podcast, released Friday morning. Listen to it here.