Since Self-Help began 42 years ago, we have lent $132 million to Black-owned small businesses, and 42% of our small business loans have gone to enterprises owned by a person of color.
Internally, Self-Help has a policy of helping small and underutilized businesses grow and thrive. We do that in part with an ongoing initiative to hire businesses owned by people of color and/or women when we need vendors or contractors. This has led us to expand the pool of talent we consider as we procure goods and services internally.
This intentional effort on supplier diversity is proving to be a win for both Self-Help and the businesses we contract with: It connects us with talented vendors that are a great match with our needs, and it helps those businesses build their own portfolio and capacity.
During Black History Month and all year round, we encourage members and friends to support Black-owned enterprises. When you have a need, do a Google search for relevant Black-owned or other underutilized businesses, or browse one of these directories:
Florida Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Directory
Office of Supplier Diversity – Management Services - Certified Vendor Directory
NCDOT Disadvantage Business Enterprise Directory
North Carolina Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) Directory
Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification – Directory
SC Department of Transportation – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise Certification Directory
Also, more generally, the U.S. Chamber has compiled 9 Black-Owned Small Business Directories.