FLINT, Michigan— Fourteen black women-owned businesses are coming together to support a black-owned Dawn Donuts on Pasadena Avenue and Clio Road through the Black-Owned Business Buyout event today, June 12.
The Dawn Donuts buyout event will be the first of the monthly initiative meant to encourage more community participation and networking among small black-owned businesses across the city. Those that attend between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. will be given a free donut and encouraged to take one or two for the road. The hope is that the shelves will be completely cleared out.
“I’m a firm believer, you know, if the black dollar is the most powerful dollar then it’s not a matter of if we’re spending, it’s how and where we’re spending,” said Ebonie Gipson, organizer of the event and CEO of I’m Building Something Consulting. “Looking at our community, if we change the way that we spend, where we spend, and how we spend and shift that back into our communities then our businesses will continue to flourish.”
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Month-long “Stay at Home” executive orders and ensuing economic stagnation have left black-businesses around the nation theIn a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, black business owners have decreased significantly between February and April of this year. most economically vulnerable. In a report by the National Bureau of Economic research, black business owners have decreased significantly between February and April of this year.
“The number of active business owners in the United States plummeted by 3.3 million or 22 percent over the crucial two-month window from February to April 2020,” read the report. “The drop in business owners was the largest on record, and losses were felt across nearly all industries and even for incorporated businesses. African-American businesses were hit especially hard experiencing a 41 percent drop.”
That’s why it is important that black consumers move beyond the “special days” said Gipson, like Blackout Tuesday or blackout weeks in July. It needs to be a continual community practice between small businesses and the communities they serve.
“What people don’t see on the inside of this thing is the group of women that we’ve been able to pull together, they’re excitement around seeing their community rally behind an initiative like this,” said Gipson. This was no one-woman job and it was never supposed to be.
The initiative also follows several months of preparing for the launch of I’m Building Something Consulting’s entreBuilder Nationwide Small Business Directory that is slated to launch July 1.
The directory was officially announced Thursday, June 4, and already contains submissions from black-owned businesses hailing from 12 separate cities and counties including Michigan’s Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw, Detroit, to Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and Alabama. Nine more submissions are going to be added next week said Gipson.
It’s initiatives like the monthly buyout events and small business directory that will give strength back to black-owned business beyond one-off intentional buying and attention, and lead to greater momentum and longevity, Gipson explained.
“We wanted to put the dollars into Dawn Donuts while at the same time, giving something our community would appreciate,” said Gipson.”We’ve been through a lot in the past few months, in the past few weeks and we just wanted to shine some positivity on our city as well as show we need protesting, we also need purchasing. We need protesting and purchasing, we also need policy changes. Like, we need all of it collectively and consistently.
This event was sponsored by the following businesses:
Pashanta Lockhart - Brooch & Button
LaTika Ross - La’Ross Administrative Services
LaAsia Johnson - Elle Jae Essentials
Donyale Walton - Hoop Mobb
Ashnee Vonet’ - The Power Initiative
Shekinah Wagner - No Two Stripes Alike
Tonya King - King’s Klutches
Nicole Walton - Nicole Renee’ The Experience
Whitney Gipson - Sweet Whitney’s
Carole Ann Brock - Twentyeight13
Shanise Ollie - Belle Rebel Boutique
LaTricea Adams - Black Millennials For Flint
Alexandria Green - Alexandria Chrisele Photography
Suzette Lee - Studio 8:28