The holiday season is a great opportunity to support minority business enterprises—commonly known as MBEs. Whether you want to show your employees and clients you appreciate them, or purchase a few extra goodies for yourself, if you’re buying it, there is likely a great diverse-owned supplier offering it. And if it’s not right in your community, you can certainly find one online. It’s a simple way to increase your company’s diversity spend and put a smile on people’s faces. All spending and support counts, of course, but buying holiday-related items sure seems like more fun!
There are lots of ways to find minority-owned businesses—online, nationally, or locally. Your local Chamber of Commerce and all its various chapters are great sources of information. In addition, WBENC has a women-owned business directory. Even Amazon lets you search black-owned businesses and can help identify which products are from MBEs. Your local government at the state or city level will have information that can help you find and support MBEs in your area, too. But before you go off on your search, remember that you might have the information you need already: Check your email or talk to your purchasing department and see what they recommend. A savvy minority business owner may have already targeted your company!
If you are not specifically in the market for new services or products, or you don’t have holiday-specific buying needs, consider increasing your purchasing from an existing vendor. Or try out a new one! Get in the spirit of the holidays and add a new MBE to your supplier list, giving someone a chance to “wow” you. Finally, it is free to showcase an MBE on your social media. Share a great MBE your business works with or a personal favorite. It’s yet another way to show support and bring them new business.
This time of year is filled with cultural, religious, and secular celebrations—our diverse world is on display in so many wonderful ways. As we share our customs, explain our traditions, and cook our food for each other, we create a richer, happier experience for everyone. It is true in life, and it is true in business. As we celebrate the season, don’t forget the power of practical actions. Here’s a friendly challenge from me to all of you: Start by purchasing from an MBE or showing your support for one on social media. If you tag me in the post (@angelique_solorio_alvarez), I’ll reshare it to give your favorite MBE as much visibility as I can. Happy holidays, everyone