TikTok allows Black businesses to soar

Black men and women are at a constant disadvantage. Despite our talent, strengths, and what we have to offer, we face barriers and misconceptions. TikTok allows people like me to be heard. 

Often, Black parents will tell their children something along the lines of “you have to work twice as hard for half the recognition.” This is something I hear constantly as a Black female entrepreneur. And, unfortunately, there a reason for this common expression. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 140,918 U.S. businesses with majority Black ownership in 2020. This accounts for only 3 percent of all U.S. businesses.  

While it is usually harder for minorities to succeed, social media marketing has evened the playing field a little more. TikTok gives Black creators and business owners’ recognition. The app provides Black small business owners the resources to compete and reach customers in a new way. Lawmakers need to protect this platform for the good of their constituents, not ban it as some are promoting.  

I created my brand AUTHENTICALLY HYPE during a self-transformation journey a few years ago. AUTHENTICALLY HYPE is all about expressing your authentic self and where you are in your soul-searching journey. I use TikTok to help promote my brand and share the important message AUTHENTICALLY HYPE represents.   

TikTok separates itself from other social media platforms by showing its support for Black businesses and entrepreneurs. TikTok’s Support Black Businesses program amplifies Black-owned businesses by providing training and resources to support Black entrepreneurs.  

There is a separate section on the app filled with resources and a page with links to shop Black businesses. For a week in November, TikTok is launching a #ShopBlack campaign with Shopify for users to magnify these businesses and generate more profit.  

Banning TikTok would cut off several minority business owners from their main marketing strategies. This would set back Black founders and small business owners, and it will be incredibly difficult to build ourselves back up. According to CNBC, 20 percent of all small businesses fail by the first year. For Black-owned businesses alone, 80 percent fail within the first 18 months.  

If we want to have a chance to change these numbers, we need to elevate the platforms trying to lift us up instead of shutting them out entirely. As a business owner and a Black woman in America, I can attest to how hard it is to “win” when it feels like everyone is against you. I can’t emphasize enough how important TikTok is to helping change this narrative for the better. Let Black businesses use TikTok to succeed. 

Alexis Harvey