LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Small Business Saturday pulled in big numbers in 2022.
But studies show not only is shopping local more important these days, so is shopping with minority-owned businesses.
"As a Black business, you are always working to beat the odds," said Black Soil Owner Ashley Smith.
The business connects Black farmer products directly to consumers.
Fresh off of Black Friday, she said the holidays now bring in customers from all walks of life.
We've developed a diverse portfolio of the type of people that we work with."
She, along with UK Marketing Professor John Peloza, works with young people to increase minority entrepreneurship in Lexington.
Peloza says that while diverse ownership is a rising factor in someone's shopping experience, the support tends to come in waves.
"It's certainly there. But it tends to lag behind things like environmental performance, for example. Except when, as you said, something brings it to a higher consciousness that says, 'oh my gosh, this is an important issue. I care about this,'" said Peloza.
Peloza said there isn't necessarily a lack of interest from consumers, but a lack of diverse suppliers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 9.75% of businesses in the country are Black-owned.
This is why Peloza said more diverse ownership is key to changing the economic landscape.
"If the world looked different from a retail perspective, it would be easier for consumers to integrate that into their decision-making," said Peloza.
He provided the following links for anyone looking to take the first entrepreneurial step: