A new economic initiative is offering discounts for Philadelphia residents who shop at black-owned businesses. The iBuy Black card is sponsored by the Philadelphia Community of Leaders (PCOL), who hope that circulating the card will encourage consumers to support local black business owners and the community as a whole.
According to the iBuy Black website, the average dollar that black people earn stays in the community for a mere 6 hours, while dollars circulate in the white community for 17 days. By purchasing the $10 card, community members can keep currency in the black community longer.
“Some laugh at our spending habits — then they harvest our dollars like locusts in a field of corn,” the iBuy Black website reads. “They don’t care that strong black businesses are good for the ENTIRE community. Considering the potential to lower crime and violence, ALL people should make a point of supporting black businesses.”
There are many ways to grow a business. Having an online presence, for example, earns a store an average of $10,000 more per year in profit than a purely brick and mortar store with similar sales. However, not all business ownership opportunities are created equal. Minority business owners are more likely to be disadvantaged by systematic forms of discrimination. Services like iBuyBlack work to reverse that.
iBuy Black hopes to encourage 10,000 Philadelphia residents to purchase cards. According to the organization’s website, cardholders will receive discounts and other benefits. When a business signs up to accept the card, they will receive free promotion and access to new customers.
This service could be a significant marketing opportunity for local Philly businesses. Online searches and company information play a major role in how customers discover companies. In fact, between 80 to 90% of customers check online reviews before purchasing something. iBuyBlack takes this a step further. They provide a comprehensive directory of Philly’s black-owned businesses, allowing customers to easily select a business to support.
Michael Rashid, former president and CEO of AmeriHealth/Caritas, spoke at a City Hall event revealing the card. Rashid and other local black leaders emphasized the impact that supporting black businesses will have on Philadelphia, Philly.com reports.
“Strong black businesses are good for the entire community, with the potential to lower crime and create jobs,” he said. “All people should make a point of supporting black businesses.”
Anyone interested can purchase the card on the iBuy Black website. All proceeds will support PCOL.