Ten years ago, American Express started Small Business Saturday. Situated between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday was designed to help the little guys — the mom and pop shops, restaurants and businesses that are often overlooked on those busy shopping days. These businesses are really the backbone of the local economy. The money you spend at these places is turned around and spent at other local businesses.
Consider this: When you spend $100 at a local business, $68 stays in your community compared to $43 spent at a non-locally owned business, and small businesses donate 250% more to nonprofits and social causes in the community than larger businesses, according to the Civic Economics Study. That’s really amazing when you think about it, as small businesses do more with less.
But isn’t that standard operating procedure for small businesses? These are the businesses that manage to survive tough economic times and still deliver quality service.
As we recognized the value of small businesses and the challenges of staying in business, it’s crucial that we support them — especially Black-owned small businesses. While small business owners may already be strapped for cash, having the capital to start or maintain a business can be even more difficult for Black-owned businesses. As I’ve grown to understand the challenges of operating a small business, I’m always filled with a sense of pride when I see successful Black-owned businesses.
I’m also proud to work for a Black-owned small business. Many may not think of the Recorder as a small business, but we are. Historically, that has always been the case.
The Recorder started as a two-page church bulletin in 1895. We’re 124 years old. Let that sink in for a moment. How many businesses can you name that are 100-plus years old in Indianapolis? Now, how many can you think of that are Black-owned? I’m in awe when I think about it.
Since the Great Recession of 2008, newspapers have dropped like flies — regardless of who owned them. The combination of recession and the internet dealt a knockout blow to papers all over this country. Papers that didn’t die became smaller — both the number of pages and the number of employees. Yet, this paper still remains and is a vital resource to the community. I can’t tell you the number of times I have received a call or email from someone looking for a picture of or article about a family member. That’s a piece of history for that family, and knowing the Recorder is a part of their family’s legacy is heart warming.
It’s also inspiring that many local organizations rely on the Recorder to recall history and tell stories about the Black community in Indianapolis.
While this sounds like a public relations piece, it’s more a recognition of the Recorder’s legacy. As I thought about small businesses, I couldn’t help but think of the Recorder. Hopefully, when you think about small businesses you’ll think about the Recorder, too. And, hopefully, your thoughts will turn into purchasing advertisements and subscriptions to keep the Recorder alive for another 124 years.