Panic buying and disrupted supply chains have resulted in severe shortages. For a number of Black owned businesses, however, this pandemic has actually led to opportunity. A number of Black owned businesses are raking in sales because they have what the public needs, at a time when it is most desperately needed. Further, because these Black entrepreneurs aren’t dependent on foreign manufacturing, they are able to maintain their supply, even as big companies are struggling. Crises often reveal opportunity and this crisis has forced many to see what was always evident: Black business is winning.
A full month ago it was clear that basic household products were disappearing from shelves and fast. Laundry Detergent was selling out of stores across the country but True Detergent has continued to steadily supply customers nationwide. Hand sanitizer is still nowhere to be found in stores but Black manufacturers are steadily pumping it out. In a time when common cleaners like bleach and Lysol are impossible to find, Black owned companies are stepping up and supplying disinfectants. Yes, Black owned companies are turning crisis into an opportunity to expand and the key is manufacturing.
Black people must have control over their communities, their lives and ultimate outcomes: that is the very definition of Black power. Large corporations that don’t directly control their labor force or production processes, such as those that farm out manufacturing to China, are just as vulnerable during a pandemic as the mom and pop on the corner. Without manufacturing capability and control, the smallest hiccup can derail an entire operation. The Black owned companies that are manufacturing products and selling them are actually taking off, at a time when others are being crippled. While even some established companies are uncertain of their future, many Black businesses are growing and looking to expand in the near future.
This is a tough time to be alive and yes, a very challenging time to be an entrepreneur. Even so, Black history is one of triumph and navigating the impossible. Today is no different, Black entrepreneurs are taking advantage of scarcity and the flawed assumption that outsourcing manufacturing is the key to winning in business. Control and independence will always trump short term thinking, a lesson that many companies are painfully learning.