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New Study: Digital Tools Empower Black-Led Small Businesses and Drive Growth

February 1, 2022 (Washington, DC): A new survey from the Connected Commerce Council (3C) shows that digital tools continue to empower Black small business owners and decision-makers (SMBs) to expand their business and drive growth. 85% of Black-led businesses use digital tools as important parts of their business operations, 80% view using digital tools to drive revenue as important to their business, and 83% found a noticeable impact when using digital tools to expand their business. Most interestingly, 82% of black-led businesses are optimistic about their futures despite a lagging economy, thanks to digital tools and services.

“Digital tools are proving to be exceptionally valuable to black small businesses that have absorbed big setbacks during COVID-19,” said 3C Executive Director Rob Retzlaff. “It’s important that digital tools remain inexpensive and accessible so minority-led small businesses can continue to survive and even grow. Opening a new business is never easy, but digital tools including online advertising, social media, and back office management consistently help black-led businesses unlock opportunities in order to succeed. It is increasingly clear that digital tools are providing the infrastructure for President Biden’s ‘American economy for the 21st Century.’”

3C commissioned the survey of 2,000 small businesses to better understand how digital tools from companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon help small businesses grow and succeed. The results are clear – small businesses overwhelmingly believe that digital tools are an important part of their business operation that help attract new customers and bolster revenue. Black-led small businesses in particular reported that digital tools are very important to their businesses compared to others surveyed.

Notable statistics include:

  • 85% of Black-led businesses stated that digital tools increased their businesses’ ability to collaborate, work efficiently, be more agile, and shift strategy quickly, compared to 79% overall
  • 80% of Black-led businesses view using digital tools to drive revenue as important to their business, compared to 73% overall
  • 83% of Black-led businesses found a noticeable impact when using digital tools to expand their business, compared to 78% overall.

“If digital tools disappear or become more expensive, starting and building a business would be even harder for all entrepreneurs – a direct deterrent to the parallel processes of venture and innovation – and doubly limiting for minority entrepreneurs.” said Monica Wheat, founder Venture Catalysts in Detroit.

“As a Black businesswoman, I’ve used digital tools to keep my company alive during the worst of the pandemic. Email marketing and social media are critically important to my store’s growth and success,” said Mimi Striplin, owner of The Tiny Tassel in Charleston, SC.

The survey of 2,000 SMBs, with additional oversamples of Black- and Hispanic-led SMBs, was conducted by Catalyst Research from Nov. 29, 2021 to Dec. 9, 2021, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1% (MoE larger for subgroups).

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