CNBC has a story about "the growing number of Black-owned brands that national retailers have begun to sell over the past year in a push to better reflect diverse customers and a commitment to advancing racial equity after the murder of George Floyd.
"Companies have made pledges and earmarked donations over the past year. Yet the expanding assortment of Black-owned goods on national retailers’ shelves and websites has become one of the most visible signs of change in the corporate world."
After Floyd's murder, a Black entrepreneur named Aurora James challenged companies via social media to adjust their product lines to represent demographic reality - if the nation's Black population is 15 percent of the total, shouldn't retailers also make sure that 15 percent of the products on their shelves represent the Black community? She founded the nonprofit 15 Percent Pledge with the intention of driving this kind of change.
"A year later, 25 companies — including prominent retailers like Macy’s, Sephora and Gap — have pledged to do that," CNBC writes. "James said she has seen progress made by the companies firsthand. A company that joins the pledge signs a contract with the nonprofit, which audits it each quarter. She said the nonprofit looks at its purchase orders and tracks representation of products on shelves. The group also shares resources, such as a database of Black-owned businesses and suggests strategies that companies can use to grow a diverse base of suppliers.
"Beyond growing the number of products, retailers are becoming stronger and more supportive business partners, James said. For instance, she added, companies are not only reaching out to Black entrepreneurs who have historically been left out, but are guiding them through common challenges experienced by early-stage businesses. Examples she cited include assisting with package or logo design or paying deposits to businesses when orders are placed to provide upfront capital."