August is National Black Business Month and the City of Dallas is celebrating by providing ways to find and support local black-owned businesses. Showing support can be more than just buying products from a black-owned business. Support can be shown through social media sharing, making investments or downloading a company’s app.
Find a black-owned business
Dallasites are often presented with many venue options while living in such a robust city. Even still, it may be hard for the average resident to find local black-owned businesses in their area. Many residents like to support minority-owned businesses as a way to give back to ethnic communities and help minorities achieve economic success. To help with that, the City of Dallas Office of Business Diversity (OBD) recommends websites like GoBlackBusiness.com and dallasblackchamber.org to locate black-owned establishments in Dallas.
Leave positive feedback
After locating those black-owned companies, residents can go visit or purchase goods from them to show financial support. Buying locally also helps the City’s economy. If the service or product purchased met or exceeded expectations, leaving an online review can be a great way for a business to gain popularity or insight on what they are doing well and where they can improve.
Follow on social
Another way to show support is to find the minority-owned business on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and giving them a follow. This way your social media feed can be more filled with local businesses and it allows you to share their posts and photos to a wider audience. Black-owned businesses need all the exposure they can get, so following and sharing about these businesses online can really help them gain publicity. Downloading a company’s app can also help them reach their target audience and there are usually discounts or other benefits to app subscribers.
For Business Owners:
The City offers various resources for business owners that they may not know about. The City provides training for entrepreneurs and start-ups, solicitation opportunities, and other resources for up-and-coming businesses. Entrepreneurs and those thinking of becoming a business-owner have many materials at their fingertips through the Office of Business Diversity. The OBD is responsible for Business Enterprise programs through outreach and assistance, contract compliance, and audit verification.
Become a City of Dallas vendor
Business owners can become vendors for the City of Dallas which opens a vault of new opportunities for a business to flourish. Vendors can procure contracts with City departments and outside companies seeking new accounts. These contracts can range from a business vendor providing a service for a City of Dallas project or a vendor supplying their products to an outside contractor. Being a City vendor also offers the opportunity for solicitation services that can help companies gain exposure. To learn more about being a City of Dallas vendor, visit https://dallascityhall.com/departments/procurement/Pages/Procurement-Opportunities.aspx.
A key program in helping business owners thrive in Dallas is by joining the BUILD program. BUILD, or Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Dallas, gives potential black-owned brands and businesses access to over 200 resources throughout Dallas. Some resources include mentorship programs, training practicum and funding opportunities. BUILD also helps businesses find a location by showing office and space rental availability. This tool can connect entrepreneurs with supportive organizations and events to grow their network. If all that wasn’t enough, BUILD can also connect business-owners to groups and forums to help better their particular field or find new opportunities. To learn more about BUILD, visit https://www.dallasbuilds.org/.
The OBD hosts free one-on-one sessions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Thursday to vendors that want to improve their business. OBD gives helpful guidance on various topics about getting ahead such as how to navigate the business world while being a racial minority or a woman. The topics change periodically and more information can be found on the OBD Facebook page when looking up the hashtag #GetInPosition.
Written by Karrington Bradley
This press release was produced by the City of Dallas. The views expressed here are the author’s own.