As of October of last year, the NAACP has acquired part ownership in Hello Alice, the fastest growing online platform exclusively designed to help small and minority owned businesses start, manage and grow their diverse customer bases. This is a major win for Black business owners, who are often invited to the table but not given any utensils with which to eat.
“To champion true racial equity, we need to address the long-standing economic inequality that has left Black communities underfunded and undervalued for centuries,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson.
“That’s why we’ve taken the unprecedented step to join as a part-owner of Hello Alice. Our Black-owned businesses, who already faced long-ingrained institutional barriers to success, continue to recover from the devastation thrust upon them by the pandemic. Between February and April of 2020, Black business ownership declined more than 40%, which is more than any other ethnic group. This first-of-its kind partnership is a pivotal step towards putting Black business at the forefront of our economy and as a result, building generational wealth and economic power for Black communities.”
This first and one-of-a-kind partnership is the initial step toward placing Black-owned businesses on third base, alongside their counterparts, which will result in creating generational wealth. The Brookings Institute’s 2020 examination of racial wealth disparities in the United States found that white families are making more than 10 times what a typical black household makes. This has been a primary focus for the NAACP, whose mission drives their constant creation of resources and equitable access for everyone.
By closing the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites, the U.S. economy stands to gain an additional $300 billion revenue boost, according to the NAACP. The partnership with Hello Alice is not the NAACP’s first rodeo. They have several initiatives and collaborations, including the BeyGood Black Owned Small Business Impact Fund, in partnership with none other than the Queen Bey herself. Adidas matched Beyonce’s $1 million donation to the NAACP and will also give its own separate $1 million donation to assist Black-owned businesses. The application process is closed now, and has been since 2020, but this gives you an idea of the type of efforts this organization goes through to help keep our doors open.
The National Association for The Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909 as a rapid response to the brutalization of the Black community across the country. It is the oldest and most prominent civil rights platform in the nation. There are more than 2000 chapters and branches across all 50 stations, and more than 2.5 million volunteer activists and community organizers/leaders. To take advantage of available grant opportunities, visit the Hello Alice site and sign up to be notified when new grants for your industry are posted. Then apply according to their submission guidelines. And don’t forget to pay the information forward to another Black business owner who could use nontraditional funding options. In the meantime, consider joining the NAACP and networking with other like-minded business owners who are looking to bring equality to businesses and to support access to quality education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.