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How Can African American Communities Retain and Harness Their Tremendous Spending Power?

Updated: Jul 1

Hey fellow entrepreneurs,

I hope you're ready for a deep dive into a topic that's almost as close to our hearts as the latest Beyonce’ Country single: consumer spending. As small business owners, we're always looking out for the next market trend that can give us an edge. Today, let's zoom in on the consumer buying habits of African Americans and how these insights can be leveraged to grow our businesses.

$1.4 Trillion in spending power!

Ever caught wind of the stunning figure that African Americans held a whopping $1.4 trillion in buying power back in 2019? That's right, trillion with a 'T'. And guess what? We spend nine times more on ethnic hair and beauty products than the general market. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the spending power of African-American consumers. We are prominent in the online marketplace, with 41% planning or making online purchases. African-American consumers are avid users of mobile apps and premium TV services, spending  $7.4 billion on diet and weight loss products and about $1.5 billion on groceries.

Salon Owner

Now that is a lot of money. The question is how much has been flowing in your direction. I bet it’s not as much as you like and less than what’s possible. Let me explain. African Americans had buying power of $1.4 Trillion in 2019 yet at that same time African American businesses only generated $150 Billion in revenue. While $150 Billion seems like a hefty sum, what is being left on the table or spent outside our community is much greater. 

90% of our dollars are leaving the Community

Well let’s look at it this way. $150 Billion is almost 10% of $1.9 Trillion. Meaning for every $100 in spending power we have, $90 is spent outside of our community. As always, someone else is getting wealthy off of our labor. In order to build wealth and employment in our community we need to figure out a way to redirect a large portion of those dollars back to African-American businesses. 

Graph on Spending Power of African Americans

Now, imagine the possibilities if we work together and provide a financial incentive for African-American consumers to support Black-owned businesses. Think about the impact of such partnerships on our local economies and the message it sends about our values as business owners. We're not merely here to turn a profit; we're here to foster a community that uplifts one another. 


The second installment focuses on ways to divert revenue back to Black businesses.


In closing, the key to our success lies in understanding these consumer spending trends and using them to our advantage, while at the same time contributing to the economic empowerment of a highly influential consumer base. Uniting under the umbrella of shared growth and mutual support can only lead to good things. So, to all my entrepreneur friends out there, keep this statistic in mind....90% of the Black dollar is supporting the establishment that created this disparity. Let's work towards a future where loyalty goes both ways, and every business feels seen.

Fancy more insights, tips, and strategies to better cater to all of your customers? Check out the website!

Peace out and prosper,

Arthur Robinson

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