Award-winning presenter, Aaron Roach Bridgeman has presented and co-produced a new documentary for the BBC – Spending Black: The Currency of Community. You can watch the documentary on BBC iplayer.
Roach Bridgeman says there is no data on the ethnicity of business owners and of the 5.9 billion businesses in the UK, it’s estimated 40,000 are black owned.
Is spending with black businesses the answer?
After the murder of George Floyd, the concept of “spending black”, consciously choosing to buy from black-owned businesses, became an even more popular way in which to support the black community in their everyday lives.
Stats showed that whilst black people are three times more likely to start a new business than white people, they were also more likely to fail to get it off the ground.
Could investing in the black pound be the answer to some of the problems black people face?
For presenter, Aaron Roach Bridgeman, “spending black” is not a new concept.
However, the unprecedented new interest in “buying black” sends Aaron on a journey to explore what impact this has had on the black community and on the businesses themselves.
He meets businesses owners such as TreasureTress and Jamii, that have benefitted financially and culturally from consumers choosing to “spend black” and utilises the latest data to draw conclusions on who and in which areas people are choosing to “spend black”.
Treasure Tress founder Jamelia who features in the documentary says “there are a lot of processes and structural changes that need to be made in order for black businesses to be seen”.
Jamelia founded TreasureTress to allow “black women to shop safely and peacefully when buying hair products”. She says, “It was to fill a gap in the market”. Jamelia describes the all to the familiar experience of being a black woman and shopping for hair products on the high street and became the solution. “We don’t want to be followed around in a store while we are shopping for hair products, so we wanted to create that safe space for black women and their hair. Because black women deserve it.”
Ultimately Aaron questions to what extent this surge in “spending black” will last? Could it really be the hope and tangible change that the young black community is looking for?
You can watch the full episode of Aaron Roach Bridgeman – Spending Black: The Currency of Community on BBC here.