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Celebrate Black History Month with Groupon

black history month

Every February, the U.S. honors the rich heritage of African Americans, and helps focus our attention on the past, present, and future of Black communities. Black History Month gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the achievements, traditions, and cultural outputs of African Americans everywhere. Groupon is celebrating Black History Month by championing the inspiring work of our Black merchants and business partners.

We use this month to remember the scientific contributions made by Black people throughout history, creating countless inventions, and paving the way so that a woman of color like Aisha Bowe could one day become a scientist for NASA and educate today's children on how to write code. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We celebrate African-American culture, including art, music, and dance, and the joy it brings to all of us, including Dr. Jewel, founder of African Soul International, who found inspiration and pride in studying African dance and history—and passed along that heritage to her K-12 students. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We applaud the role of Black-owned businesses, from the small mom-and-pop shops that provide immeasure value to our communities, to huge brands with worldwide appeal. Both deserve a spotlight for Black History Month, like when we asked Billie Harris, Atlanta entrepeneur and owner of The Vino Van LLC, to choose her favorite wines from Black-owned wineries last September: 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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And we use this month to reaffirm that Black Lives Matter, and to acknowledge there is work still to be done. This year's Black History Month will take on new meaning—due to the rise of the BLM movement and the challenges of COVID-19, Black communities need more than our remembrances, but our support and action as well.

#PassTheMic & Groupon's Commiment to Amplify Black Voices 

In light of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, Groupon launched a major social-media campaign: #PassTheMic, where we recognized that Black voices had been systemically disenfranchised from the national dialogue, and pledged time on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms to reach an audience of 22 million:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#PassTheMic was about giving people like Dr. Jewel, founder of African Soul International, the chance to takeover our social-media and say anything. Dr. Jewel devoted a day to highlighting the achievements and contributors of Black inventors...

 

 
 
 
 
 
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...while Troy LaRaviere, President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, published a mini-course called Dismantling Racismdesigned to identify and eliminate bias, and turn racist systems to anti-racist systems.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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How to Support Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

This Black History Month, Groupon will focus on celebrating and supporting Black business owners, who account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amounts to approximately 2 million companies owned by African Americans. This month reminds us also of the systemic inequities that Black business owners have faced throughout history, and which many still face to this day:

  • Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses—some 440,000 enterprises—have been shuttered by COVID-19, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses.*
  • A recent survey from SCORE showed that Black business owners were 90% more likely to have a relationship with someone (family or staff) infected with COVID-19 than their white counterparts.**
  • Blacks receive business loans at about half the rate of their white counterparts, and when they do receive loans, it’s at higher interest rates.*
  • 95 percent of Black-owned businesses and 91 percent of Latino-owned businesses did not receive funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),* designed to help small businesses cover payroll and benefits for their employees as well as pay rent or interest on mortgages.
  • According to Robert W. Fairlie, an economist at UC Santa Cruz, half of all Black families have less than $9,000 in total wealth, while the median wealth for white families is $130,000.*

The above obstacles make it more difficult for Black business owners to thrive in America. Considering this, Groupon identified—and is continuing to seek out—Black-owned businesses in cities across the country. The easiest way for each of us to help out is to answer the call to action: Celebrate Black History Month by seeking out, supporting, and championing Black-owned businesses in your neighborhood and community.

Black history month business owners



Groupon’s Commitment to Black-Owned Businesses

Groupon is dedicated to supporting our Black business partners not only during Black History Month but also beyond.

Listening & Learning

We’re continuing our outreach to Black-owned business partners nationwide to learn more about the services and support needed that Groupon may provide through connections to our partners.

Supporting Our Merchants

We’ve partnering with Black business organizations and governmental agencies at the federal and state levels to gather a list of available resources. In August, we co-sponsored virtual panel discussions for merchants

See how our Coupons team is supporting Black-owned and Black-led brands.

Amplifying Black Stories

We’re making an ongoing effort to seek out and highlight Black-owned businesses through our social media and other initiatives.

 

To learn more about the actions Groupon is taking to bring about positive change, click here.

 

*Cited from Rodney A. Brooks, More than half of Black-owned businesses may not survive COVID-19, National Geographic. Published July 17, 2020.

**Cited from The Megaphone Of Main Street: The Impact of Covid-19, Infographic #2 - Impact on Black-owned Small Businesses. Published October 5, 2020.

Illustrations by Emily Mungovan