It’s been a tough two years for businesses of every size and it’s been particularly tough for Black businesses — who are typically small and under capitalized which forces them to struggle, even in the best of times, against better situated competitors..
An H&R Block survey of almost 3,000 small businesses found 53% of Black business owners saw their revenue drop by half, compared to 37% of White owners, since the pandemic started and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found small business ownership in the U.S. dropped 22% between February and April 2020, but Black ownership dropped 41% — the greatest decline among all racial groups during the depths of the pandemic.
Still, there were successes. From small businesses to larger corporations, the concept of shifting and/or pivoting became much more than a pandemic catch phrase. Businesses who succeeded found ways to shift and pivot for short-term survival and in response to long-term trends intensified by the pandemic. Those who were most successful at this trend are businesses that find themselves thriving as the pandemic lingers.
Through a partnership betweenThe Community Voice and Koch Industries, the stories of Black businesses who shifted, pivoted and are now thriving (or at least better positioned) after these tough two years will be featured in a year-long initiative: “Shift, Pivot, Thrive. The initiative will includes feature stories in The Community Voice print and online editions, a specially produced video on the company to be featured on CommunityVoiceks.com and marketing campaigns through Community Voice and Koch online channels.
Each quarter, the initiative will focus on one different small, Black-owned business recognized for their success at Shifting, Pivoting, and Thriving in these tough economic times. The project aims to not only highlight the success of these four companies, but by sharing their stories, we hope to inspire and inform other Black businesses to “Shift, Pivot, and Thrive” and possibly encourage other members of the community to apply principled entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic success.
The “Shift, Pivot, Thrive” initiative will serve as an anchor to The Community Voice’s growing and expanded business coverage, designed to strengthen the economic viability of the Black communities the paper serves. The initiative will have a key position on The Voice’s new website, scheduled to launch first quarter 2022.
Koch’s partnership in the initiative is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to becoming a preferred partner among diverse communities in Wichita, where the company is based.
“We are proud to partner with The Community Voice to help spotlight principled entrepreneurs in our hometown that embrace a philosophy of mutual benefit. These local leaders recognize that their own success is a direct result of the value created for their customers and the Wichita community as a whole. We hope you enjoy hearing their stories as much as we enjoy telling them.”