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How to support black-owned businesses this Juneteenth

Posted at 2:41 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 14:41:30-04

With Juneteenth becoming a nationally recognized holiday, workplaces across the nation have been striving towards diversity and inclusion but how has Corporate America been adapting? Brittany Simone Willis, an entrepreneur and small business expert, joined Inside South Florida to share her thoughts.

“I'm celebrating this year by sponsoring and being involved with a local event called, ‘100 Black entrepreneurs,” says Willis. “I'm a big believer that one of the best ways that you can impact change is to be the change you wish to see and to be a representative. So I am very excited to get myself out into the community and to interact with my fellow entrepreneurs in the area.”

Willis not only has a podcast called, “Protégé to Pro,” in which she helps her listeners navigate their careers, but owns her own coffee shop, “PJ's of New Orleans,” in North Dallas. Willis shares how larger corporations can support black small businesses effectively.

“I think the pandemic really showed us how much less insulated these businesses are versus larger corporations. They can sustain hits, they can sustain some of the cost increases but small businesses are just one micro change from potentially being obsolete,” says Willis. “These large organizations have the opportunity to support these small businesses in ways and I think it's those organizations that understand that dynamic and understand the fragility that small business owners, especially black owned small business owners have versus large corporations, those are the ones that are able to make the most sustainable impacts.”

With Juneteenth and Pride Month all being in the month of June, it has brought attention to corporations using performative actions to try and capitalize on these movements.

“I think PR is the lowest hanging fruit. And I think that you want to be careful about the impact, and I guess rather, how authentic that comes across, because don't get me wrong, the PR begets visibility,” says Willis. “I was actually out of town this weekend, and I was driving in downtown Atlanta, and it was so beautiful to see all these logos and rainbow colors. It reminds you of what we're celebrating, but it doesn't stop there. Your entire Juneteenth budget does not need to just cover PR and again potentially performative events.”

For more corporate knowledge and career advice, check out her podcast, at ProtégéToPro.com

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

Inside South Florida is an original, local lifestyle show focused on providing our audience with informative, useful and entertaining content. It features a variety of community organizations, businesses and happenings in South Florida. It is a marketing-friendly program dedicated to offering businesses the opportunity to showcase their company/products, reach potential customers and gain results.

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