Facebook has introduced a new #BuyBlack Summit, an all-day event on August 24th that will give guidance and advice for Black-owned businesses, as part of its extended effort to encourage Black business owners as they cope with the lingering effects of the pandemic.
According to Facebook:
"This free, one-day virtual summit will be hosted by comedian, actress and podcast host Michelle Buteau, and feature speakers like Shelly Bell of Black Girl Ventures and Arian Simone of Fearless Fund. Discussions will include topics such as learning to drive sales ahead of the holiday season and how to access capital for small businesses, while providing an opportunity to connect with Black business owners."
The full schedule offers a variety of workshops and expert panel sessions that will provide detailed insight into how to use Facebook's tools for business growth.
Furthermore, throughout August, Facebook released an 18-page guide on the significance of inclusive representation for brands and how they can help emphasize Black voices.
The project is part of Facebook's extensive support program for Black-owned businesses, which have all been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, most businesses have it in some manner, but data reveals that the virus and its consequent effects have particularly affected Black-owned SMBs.
As per research by the University of California last year, approximately 40% of Black-owned businesses were pressured to close early in the pandemic, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses, and a Facebook-commissioned report released in October revealed that Black-owned businesses were shutting down at twice the rate of other SMBs.
Considering this, as well as the deeper discourse about societal inequality, it stands to reason for Facebook to concentrate more specifically on Black-owned businesses and offer additional guidance and assistance, where necessary, to aid them alleviate the continuing hardship and stress.
For the virus isn't finished with us at all. Although the vaccine rollout progresses and several regions prepare to reopen, vaccination resistance and new variants of the COVID-19 strain appear to be keeping many of us in and out of lockdowns for the foreseeable future.
Recognizing these concerns, this is a significant endeavor by Facebook that should aid many businesses in better understanding how to use Facebook's tools to keep their operations running smoothly and optimize prospects.