Understand this after years of neglect the Black Business sector will need your patience and your patronage. 

The times they are a-changin’.

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Understand this after years of neglect the Black Business sector will need you to be patient as well as your your patronage.

In 2003 I began working to help local businesses specifically in Brooklyn.  I soon discovered that when there is great need and little resources Patience was a valuable asset.  While I usually look at this from the changes that the small business owner needs to make. This post addresses the changes the consumer will need to make

PATRONAGE ; –  Definition  A
” the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests” … but dealing with  small and in particular black businesses is not dealing with fast food or a fast fashion  chain. Sometimes  you  will need to  allow for time and expect  to shop a it  differently that the fast

  • Place orders early… many make on demand…  so shipping  within 24 hours
  • Prices may be higher  fair, sustainable, living wages will do that   … PLEASE DO  NOT  WRANGLE OVER PRICE -many  do  not  produce in Asia
  • Be open to  making  deposits or paying up front, most black  businesses need the cash  advance ..
  • Tell your friends  –  Business owners  respect  privacy and many make one of a kind…
  • Write down what  your expect and verify orders  color- size, length,  no of items…
  • Check Sizing before ordering- small businesses cannot absorb the loss  from returns most businesses c Take measurements – chest , waist, hip,  ring size, wrist,  hat size…  waist to floor
  • Most businesses operate from  home … Be open to meeting   at  public spaces  or shopping  at someone’s home , pop up store or collective. – (Churches & community organizations  & restaurants  can open their community  rooms  and other spaces… )
  • Go Cashless if concerned about carrying cash …  join social payment site and load your Cash  into these..  easiest  if not sure you want to hand over your personal info…
  • PayPal here, email, mobile, PayPal here,  add money with  MoneyPak …
  • Give and accept  gift certificates…  especially those that can be redeemed      in 2015
  • You may have to  pay for shipping… (Imagine that), but small businesses cannot  absorb the cost of shipping …  so shop early…

Finding them- getting listings from  local businesses is one such challenge, and one of the  things that  local businesses need to improve…

  • Offline walk the neighborhoods and check in
  • Locally encourage your church to a directory of their business owners… and handy men/women. Create a similar for your block association…
    Google “Black Business Directory” #blackbusinessdirectories
  • Join my mailing list to be sent  a list of events & shopping offers   http://vip.bonniesandy.com
    http://catalog.demarketplace.com   Last year I started a list –  DeMarketplace – Look around but  enquire about current prices….PATRONAGE ; –  Definition B
    “Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes and the wealthy have provided to artists such as musicians, painters, and sculptors.” via en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage
  •  Support them  Give a word of encouragement,  ask for fliers and distribute,
  • Bring  a friend  to shop – many host events get on their mailing list
  • Volunteer to host a shopping or business introduction  party…
  • Babysit for family members who have businesses or take the  kids on a Saturday… or their busy day.   Cook and take their family a meal…
  • Be an angel to their business…   make a pledge of support for a year –  smal monthly “gifts” or regular purchases.  Gift them a surprise payment of a utility bill, a Gas card

Few expect that they will need to be patient!  Few expect that there will be a period of adjustment and yes there are ways to support a potential ecosystem…   In an analogy of a Farmer starting a farm there is the prepping the soil, ensuring channels to distribute supplies and the run of excess.  Create opportunities for fertilization, germination, gestation, incubation/acceleration, growth, harvesting… distribution. Sometimes you even need to plan for showcasing and teaching how to buy/shop  – cook/consume.  Even the development secondary product lines…   In the ten years I have worked on concepts that address each and now taking that info to create products services and merchandise.  www.demarketplace.com  specifically addresses sharing info from  black  creatives.  I took this year to work on  issues artsans face and  to create solutions of support! We have not  updated the info  but  artisans can submit … in 2015 we’ll be opening workshops get on a list to be sent  product info  www.demarketplace.com/subscribe

If the only reason you’re supporting  #Boycottblackfriday, is to send a message on  #Fergusion. Then you’re part of the  #problem…

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