Lately, the world’s spotlight has been on Black businesses and how they can be supported. We all want to be able to #BuyBlack, but it can be a bit difficult finding those Black-owned brands. Now, two major names are joining forces to fix that.
American Express and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. recently announced they are working together to expand ByBlack – the only national certification exclusively for Black-owned businesses to verify that businesses are majority-owned by Black and African-American individuals and an extensive national directory. With the expansion, Black-owned businesses will gain more opportunities to reach new customers, plus business education and resources, through the no-cost, digital ByBlack platform. ByBlack also provides a way for both consumers and large corporations to find U.S.-based Black-owned businesses to buy from.
Through the easily accessible certification process, businesses can be officially designated as Black-owned, opening more windows to gain contracting and procurement opportunities with large and global companies. ByBlack will in turn help large corporations across the public and private sectors source diverse suppliers, who are certified, to fulfill their business needs – from IT infrastructure to marketing to consulting and more.
This is the first certification for Black-owned businesses that aims to be recognized by many large corporations to enhance their supplier diversity programs. There has been recently renewed support from countless organizations across the country, pledging to diversify spending with Black-owned businesses. For example, American Express plans to increase spend with Black-owned suppliers to at least $100 million annually by the end of 2024.
ByBlack will also offer consumers an extensive digital directory to find U.S.-based Black-owned businesses. According to the recent Shop Small Summer Study from American Express, 44% of consumers seek out Black-owned businesses, however, three in ten say it is difficult to find these businesses. 55% of consumers say they would be likely to use an official, easy-to-access digital database that certifies a business as being Black-owned.
U.S. Black Chamber members are able to get certified now at usblackchambers.org/certification, with the certification application opening for all Black-owned businesses later this summer.