AFRICANGLOBE – According to a 2012 Nielsen study, Black spending power is at $931 billion annually and is projected to hit $1 trillion by 2015.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., flexed its economic muscle this summer when the organization left millions of dollars in Washington, D.C., during its centennial celebration and 51st national convention.
The Southern Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is continuing to show its economic impact in its communities through a new initiative – “Code R.E.D. (Revitalizing Economic Development): DST Spends2Win.’’
The region, which includes Florida, is encouraging sorority members and others to support Black-owned businesses on Nov. 29 (Black Friday), the largest shopping day of the year – and throughout the holiday season.
Code R.E.D. will promote Black-owned businesses through chapter websites and social media. Chapters have created directories listing Black-owned businesses in their areas.
Code R.E.D. addresses the sorority’s 10th component of its Financial Fortitude program — entrepreneurship. The sorority encourages entrepreneurship as an opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency and economic survival.
Business Ownership Encouraged
In Florida, Black-owned businesses account for 9 percent of all businesses, higher than the national average of 7 percent, However, Blacks make up 17 percent of the Florida population and 13 percent nationwide.
Brian Butler, who owns Vistra Communications, a strategic public relations and marketing agency based in Tampa, applauded the sorority’s initiative.
“As an African-American businesses owner and a retired Army officer, I am encouraged by this program sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,” Butler said. “We can’t expect others to support our businesses if we don’t take the first step in supporting our own.”
Where Are They?
The Deltas’ initiative will help people like Priscilla Seaborn of Daytona Beach identify Black businesses.
“I would shop at Black-owned businesses, but I don’t know where they are,” Seaborn said. “The only Black-owned businesses I’m familiar with in Daytona Beach are barber shops, beauty salons or car washes and my hair is done and my car is clean. Other than that, there are what, maybe a couple of funeral homes and some people selling incense or pocketbooks?”
Lynn Holmes of Mr. Bojacks, based in Orlando, says that tenacity is one of the reasons the business she shares with Bruce Blunt has continued to flourish.
“You have to keep going, you have to keep trying even when others tell you to give up,” she said. The business has grown from bottling sauces and a small catering service to being the primary caterer at at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.
For more information on how you can support Black-owned businesses, www.dstsouthernregion.com. Follow on Twitter and use hashtag #CODERED and #DSTSpends2Win.
By: Ashley Thomas
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