How (and why) to support Michigan’s Black-owned businesses this holiday shopping season

The businesses are still here, and they’re still looking for local support.

A year after nationwide protests drove a wave of support for Black-owned businesses, many of those businesses in Michigan are headed into the 2021 holiday season with more challenges than ever.

“Awareness is up,” says Jamiel Robinson, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses. “But it’s still challenging when access to capital, access to networks and access to markets are still an overall impediment to growth and success.”

Robinson acknowledges that there have been more efforts over the past year to try to address, or at least talk about, some of the historic disadvantages facing Black entrepreneurs. But those efforts so far haven’t evened the playing field. And the ongoing pandemic has created new pressures that have affected Black-owned businesses more than others.

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