A city with a civil rights history works to uplift Black businesses
As of two years ago, Birmingham, Alabama had the lowest rate of Black business ownership of any big city in America.LEARN MORE
Small businesses, which are often referred to as the core of the American economy, struggled tremendously post-pandemic.
This holiday season, there are plenty of upsides to shopping small.
Derrick Young and his wife, Ramunda, are the owners of Mahogany Books in Washington, D.C. It started as an online bookstore over a decade ago, but now has two brick-and-mortar locations in the area — with no small thanks to their local customer base.
SCRIPPS NEWS BIANCA FACCHINEI: How important are local consumers to your business?
RAMUNDA YOUNG: The local community has been vital to our success because they show up for us time and time again, and I don't take that for granted at all.
While courting customers old and new is a year-round pursuit, the holiday season is really important to the bottom line.
FACCHINEI: How important are the last three months of the year to your business?
DERRICK YOUNG: It's huge. Typical in all retail is, those last three months help to get you into the black.
In fact, 58% of small business owners say they receive the most support from their communities during the holiday season, according to a survey from marketing company Constant Contact.
So, small businesses rely heavily on their local customers. But, Ramunda says that relationship is beneficial for consumers, too.
FACCHINEI: Why are small businesses so important to local communities?
RAMUNDA YOUNG: We hire people from the local community, we source a lot of our products from the local community. When people come into our stores, they're not just supporting us, they're supporting a cadre of local artists and entrepreneurs as well.
Small businesses, often referred to as the core of the American economy, struggled tremendously post-pandemic. Jared Bernstein, one of President Biden's closest economic advisers tells Scripps News there's reason to feel hopeful as we head into the new year.
"We have had some of the best numbers in terms of entrepreneurship in our economic history, in terms of the number of people opening businesses," said Bernstein.
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