19 June 2020
Happy Juneteenth! Black Lives Matter Today and Every Day
Dear Clients and Friends of the North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC):
As a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs who want to start, grow, and thrive in business, we proudly affirm that Black Lives Matter.
We are lucky to be part of a Beloved Community that includes BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) business owners and future business owners who will fulfill their potential as entrepreneurs if we are committed to acting on that truth together. And when each of us reaches our potential, our community is better for it. Our liberty and success are connected.
If you are a BIPOC business owner: we see you. We celebrate your prosperity. We stand with you if you are excluded, threatened, or hurt. We commit to working together to shift whatever stands in the way of our BIPOC communities’ success. We know the work happens inside us as individuals, in our relationships, and through the flawed systems we all live with.
Several of our clients and advisors have reached out to ask me for help to figure out what more they can do with and through SBDC to advance racial justice in our economy and small business community.
To find out more--and to accept a call to action--I invite you to read on. Sign up for a North Coast Equity in Business Action Learning Circle. And please don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions, ideas, or reflections.
Director, North Coast Small Development Center
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Here are a few thoughts and resources that I put together for you, our SBDC friends, for this day and for the years to come.
Calls to Action for the Business Community:
- Show up. Sign up for Juneteenth Celebration starting at noon today. Join Black Humboldt, Eureka NAACP and other public events and celebrations. Consider sponsoring some.
- Spend. Actively incorporate local POC-owned businesses into your business supply chain and service providers.
- Integrate equity into your business model and hiring, because it’s good for business as well as good for our community. See more below on that in “Resources”.
- Invest. African Americans have been historically excluded from the wealth-building opportunities that make starting and growing a business easier. Equity crowdfunding is one new mechanism that makes it possible for regular folks to invest in one anothers’ entrepreneurship without being multi-million dollar investors. Investment firms dedicated to growing Black entrepreneurship like Collab Capital is another.
- Donate. Contribute financially or in-kind to Black Humboldt, Eureka NAACP and other community-serving organizations committed to advancing racial justice.
- Learn and Act. Join an Equity in Business Action Learning circle. North Coast SBDC’s Center Director will host and facilitate this during her off-work hours, but it’s not a passive enterprise: we will do active work together!
- Black Humboldt
- Eureka NAACP
- Equity Arcata’s Welcoming Businesses group
- Centro del Pueblo
- Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
- True North Organizing Network
- And many more
- Watch: Hello Seven’s Reimagining Small Business Town Hall webinar, call to action, and anti-racist small business pledge
- Read: The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity and companion Op-Ed in Fortune Magazine (Policy Link)
- Read The Business Case for Diversity in the Workplace is Now Overwhelming (World Economic Forum)
- Read Uptima Business Boot Camp blog post on supporting Black-owned businesses
Organizations to Learn From
North Coast SBDC’s Equity Values and Intentions
This is the foundation we will be working on and from. Contact us to learn more.
- Humility and Constant Learning
- Data collection
- Commitment to Doing Better