The co-founders of National Black Business Month, now in its eighth year, have come up with a simple way to create economic development — 31 Ways 31 Days.
Special to the NNPA
SAN FRANCISCO — The co-founders of National Black Business Month, now in its eighth year, have come up with a simple way to create economic development — 31 Ways 31 Days. The slogan provides a suggested way during each day of August to seek out and patronize an African-American business, according to Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton.
"When you take a close look, we believe almost anyone can find high quality service among the 1.9 million African-American businesses, seven percent of all U.S. companies," said Templeton.
On Aug. 16, the suggested activity is to subscribe to a local or national African-American publication, an industry which has been a bulwark of the Black business community and the human rights struggle since 1827.
Templeton, a newspaper editor since 1978 and three-time National Newspaper Publishers Association First Prize Merit Award winner, notes that the Black Press is needed now more than ever. "As large media scales back news coverage, there is a growing demand for local and specialized media to fill the expanding need for information. However, those papers can only meet the need if they have readers who are willing to make their preferences known as subscribers or registered users."
The 31Ways31Days suggestions can be found at http://www.blackbusinessmonth.com. ; The observance began when Jordan commissioned the first State of Black Business report. Now in its eighth year, A Piece of the Pie: State of Black Business, 8th edition, rates each state on a 10-point Black business affinity scale.
Jordan, president of the San Francisco African-American Chamber of Commerce, said, "Black businesses are such an important part of the U.S. economy that we must hold policymakers, and particularly elected officials, accountable for policies and performance that increase the number and scale of our enterprises."
Through 31Ways31Days, any consumer or institution can evaluate how it is engaging with the growth of employment in Black neighborhoods by measuring how often it uses Black companies in each of the areas.
"Black newspapers are critical resources for the success of 31Ways31Days because they are the first place that consumers and buyers will go to find the Black companies in their area," notes Jordan, also former chairman of the board of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.