Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good Black Business for Hire, Why African-American Businesses Will Gain in this Economy

The Black Grape Bar, Afro-Caribe Restaurant & Performance Venue in London. Good Food & Music

by Eco.Soul.Intellectual

In most urban black and brown areas in the United States, residents are grossly lacking access to the necessities of simple, quality living.

I have lived in Los Angeles, Atlanta and now Newark, and know the frustration of looking for some reasonably priced, non-rotten romaine lettuce for my tacos. Forget picking up something like cherries anywhere in the hood. A cherry is like an exotic fruit from New Zealand.

Since about the late 1980s when Affirmative Action reached its peak, integration was largely (but never fully) implemented and the brain drain of black professionals really hit black communities, the closing of black businesses in large numbers began.

The lack of businesses that knew, understood, and catered to ethnic enclaves of where it originated and blossomed created a devalued perception of black consumerism and thus the cheapened the expectations of black standards of living.

Between the pimpalicious churches, liquor stores, grimy bars, hole-in-the-wall hair salons and Chinese fast food grease spoons, people in metropolis are hurting for quality commercial presence.

I am sorry, but the Korean liquor store, the Indian 7/11 or the Arabic (or African) ran Dollar Store selling cotton panties that will give you a nasty yeast infection resulting in a fishy, dripping snatch is not the business we desire.

And if you don’t know, the hood is the first place where large chains pack up and go in a bad economy. Why? Because there is an assumption that we will not keep business afloat; but it is a fact that the working and poor class are the first to buy some shit to keep up with the Jones and the Petersons.

Unfortunately, there is a silent, but blatant segregation of good businesses in inner cities. This is where small, good black and brown businesses can flourish. There is a needy target population, and thousands of people with a history of good employment who are ready to work and be an immense asset to your business.

BUT, let me emphasize superior quality stores and not the negro-rigged shotgun shack operations ran by Pookie and them.

Okay, so here is EcoSoul’s Recommendation for Good Black
Focus on basic services and incorporate a mission to refine your operations before you go big. John Henrik Clarke always said that we didn’t even have our own underwear company to purchase drawers. Hell, I’ll be the first to buy panties made for people who actually have booty meat, but the cotton and satin gotta fit right.
2. Treat your customers with respect and be patient with their recommendations. I know black folk can try our people, but in the chitter chatter, there are some good tips. Plus listening to your customers shows you are a vested venture in good community relations.

3. Keep your store, sidewalk and parking lot clean.
4. Upgrade your operations and aesthetic every 3-5 years. The 70s Sanford and Son look is a nice vintage visual for Blaxploitation movies like Black Dynamite.

5. Saying hello will help you.
6. Contribute to community building efforts.

7. Reality shows can hurt you if you act ignorant.
8. Make sure your relatives know you have a business and not a hang out spot where they can get the hook up in front of patrons.

9. No getting twisted on the job or smoking weed in the back. That shit is not-the-business.
10. Bookkeeping is not the man on your neck, but a financial necessity.

11. Remember, you are the seeking community members’ money, and not the other way around. Respect their dollar.


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