Buy It Back Black Fund Spreads Good Karma to Black Businesses

As of today, Google shows about 740, 000, 000 results for a protest search. 

Mass demonstrations are happening all over the world, during a global pandemic, triggering dialogue concerning what people believe to be the best or the least effective means to counteract racial injustice and its deadly side effects. 

Bisque and White Traditional Life Quote Instagram Post

Open discussions examining rallies, marches, boycotts, group economics, and voting are inspiring people to act. While each method has its own degree of efficacy, throughout history it has been proven time and time again that a monetary flex will without question raise an eyebrow, turn heads, shift paradigms, in addition to influencing legislative enactments. 

Having shared in similar conversations rooted in group economics, Malika Bethea posed the following on FB:  “If 500 of us pool $20 a month we could grant $10K to a different black-owned business every month!!! Something so small could be so impactful.” 

On June 1st she created the Buy It Back Black facebook group – a community of changemakers instantly formed to support black-owned businesses.  Within 24 hours the FB group gained  500 + members, started a community fund on Spreadkarma.org, and raised $3500.

Working for a Community Development Financial Institution, Malika takes part in approving loans to underserved, small businesses. While CDFI loans are a resource that enables the start or scale of a business, it’s still a loan – capital that is required to be paid back, with interest. The individual or organization is still accruing a debt, which can easily turn into a liability.   Malika’s idea to start a community fund solves this exact problem. A 2016 study by economists at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research found that only 1 percent of black business owners get a bank loan during their first year of business compared with 7 percent of white owners. Twice as many white business owners — 30 percent of the total — use business credit cards during their inaugural year, compared with black owners, among whom only 15 percent rely on a credit card. Black businesses also start out with far less capital — whether from investments or bank loans — than white businesses, the study found. 

Screen Shot 2020 06 28 at 12.32.01 PMFittingly, on June 7th Buy It Back Black reached its $10K goal on SpreadKarma.org, thee Black-owned fundraising platform that provides access to funding and exposure for projects that create positive social impact. One hundred percent community funded on a platform that’s for [the] community. Yes, this is absolutely SHOUT worthy! Now please excuse me while I raise my fist!

So here’s how to benefit from the BItBBF:

Businesses that want to be considered must apply on SpreadKarma.org via the Buy It Back Black Fund page. Applications must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the grant. A selection committee narrows down the list based on the criteria and a needs assessment. Next, those who donated are forwarded an email link with the applicant’s narratives to cast their vote for the business they believe should receive the grant. Just to be clear, the selection committee does not take part in the vote.

The first BItBB grant recipient is Laverne Cheeseburo of Heavenly Made Creations – an early childhood development center that was impacted by COVID-19. Heavenly Made Creations provides high-quality child care and peace of mind to families in Southwest Philadelphia. The vision is to exhibit commitment, respect, professionalism, and integrity as they guide and assist families in the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development of their children. Laverne will use the grant to cover the cost of reopening the facility in adherence to the Center for Disease Control’s public health guidelines.BiBB Grantee

Here’s what a few donors had to say:

“Laverne is not only a teacher, she is a mentor. She treats them like they are her own and she really loves her kids. I believe that this is her gift from God.”

“I see a ‘double in our money’ here. Kids are getting a heads up on learning, while their parents can go back to work without the stress of who is caring for their kids.” 

“This is an awesome learning place for children.”

Malika is passionate about serving [the people] of Philadelphia, believes that there is power in [our] dollars and that [we] can fund ourselves.  A bon-a-FIDE monetary flex! Malika also believes that there’s power in numbers, which is what makes the partnership between BItBB and SpreadKarma SO special. This is what’s known as a show and prove. Both entities founded by [the people] to mobilize beneficial outcomes that are for [the people]. Just one of many collabs to come…WE’RE CLAIMING IT! It’s time to show em what we’re working with!

If you’re interested in contributing to the BuyItBackBlack Fund, donate here If you want to start your own fund to support an underserved community, visit www.SpreadKarma.org today!