The nation’s one million Black-owned businesses account for more than $100 billion in annual sales. Black buying power is estimated at $913 billion nationwide in 2010, meaning less than 10 percent of dollars spent by Blacks are supporting these enterprises.
The African American Chamber of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware (AACC) designed a new program titled Reverse 90 to address the problem. It utilizes discounts and deals from member companies to draw customers to the chamber’s 400 member businesses.
Plenty of excuses are offered up when it comes to not supporting Black-owned businesses, from “not being able to find one” to “having had a bad experience with one in the past“, advocates will tell you. With the unveiling of the new website Reverse 90.com, the Chamber hopes to put an end to them. The site showcases places to eat, shop and secure a range of other services from quality Black-owned firms, all of which are members of the AACC.
Nicole Giles, Acting Executive Director of the AACC added, “We launched Reverse 90 for the consumer looking to support the African American businesses in our community.” They’re segmented into three categories, “Eat Here, Shop Here, Try This” and are easily navigated and offer excellent discounts, customer service and high quality to all consumers.
Although the Reverse 90 campaign was introduced over the summer, it was officially launched for consumers in December with a reception that featured Maggie Anderson, CEO of the Empowerment Experiment as the keynote speaker. Based in Chicago, Anderson gained national attention in 2009 when her family committed to live off Black-owned businesses for an entire year.
With African American unemployment 86% higher than whites it will take these types of creative initiatives to build new businesses, support existing businesses, and create jobs for those that have been most impacted by the Great Recession.