Issa Rae Partners With American Express To Encourage Black-Owned Businesses To Get Certified
Issa Rae has joined forces with American Express and the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. to help push their joint mission to expand their ByBlack initiative by launching the “first national certification program exclusively for Black-ownership designation.”
The free platform, which was designed as a directory for Black-owned businesses, will now offer Black business-owners the opportunity to easily obtain approved accreditation that their customers and other companies can trust when spending with them.
“Black businesses are American businesses,” Rae said, adding, “I think it’s one thing to support them during a very specific time when you feel guilty, but we’re beyond that”
Speaking to The Variety, the producer and actress told the magazine: ” To support these businesses year-round, and to know what you’re supporting and actively making an effort to do so, is extremely necessary. To have a platform that can allow Americans to find Black businesses easily is such a necessary change.”
But to qualify for the certification process, businesses must prove that their business is 51 percent Black-owned and controlled by a Black business owner.
An online application must also be filled out to be processed and certified within about 30 days. They can also be listed on the ByBlack directory by registering and creating a profile to have their brands recognized.
The firm leverages a network of over 140 Chambers across the country to vet and verify Black-owned businesses and those deserving of new growth opportunities.
Once signed up, Black-founders will receive exclusive access to entrepreneurial educational resources, industry events, and business opportunities when they become certified businesses.
Black-owned businesses in the U.S. already generate $150 billion annually, according to USBC and ByBlack aims to spotlight more of them, allowing them to unlock more ways to reach new customers and contract opportunities.