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Access Equals Equity: Helping People Find Minority-owned Businesses


Lucas Shaffer - June 19, 2020 - 0 comments

No arguments have ever been won on Facebook. Well, maybe not the ones that matter…

I don’t check it anymore because it’s just not the place I want to spend my time. The hate, the false sense of enlightenment, and I’m just not into reading everyone’s opinions nor responding to them. It’s a daunting task to want to respond to them all in an attempt to change someone’s mind or opinion; just futile. I used to find myself writing comments to threads with an in-depth analysis of the subject only to delete it. Even when I knew they weren’t “exactly” right and the data nerd inside my head was screaming to be let out!

This silence was something I felt ashamed of. Whether it be about politics, quarantining, voting, or racism, I always had an opinion and always felt the conversation on Facebook (or other social media) was never subjected to the necessary objectivity required to have an adult conversation. So, I stopped paying attention and slowly started falling away from Facebook only to continue sharing pictures of food, my family, and my hobbies.

Well, I really can’t stay silent anymore.

But, instead of using words, I will use my superpowers that have gotten me through 10 years of business, recognition for my innovative initiatives, and just life in general. Just recently, I pushed to continue a project I started a while back to help feed my incessant need to want to make things better for everyone.

For the better part of my life, I have been the one to help fix things. VCRs in the 80s, computers in the 90s, myself in the 00s, and then other businesses in 10s. This decade, I will no doubt continue my path to doing what I feel is a necessary step.

Recently, I put out a feeler for a group during the On The Table chat, by the Community Foundation, that I wanted to join the conversation of people who didn’t look like me and where composed mostly of business owners. I was quickly invited to a table of all black-owned business owners and entrepreneurs.

It was an experience I will never forget. Instead of talking about farm-to-table initiatives, beautification of streets, and the historic values of cherished properties and space, the conversation was planted much deeper in the ground than I had imagined. It was the first time I felt my focus shift towards a problem that almost all minority-owned businesses suffer from.

Discoverability.

It was in that meeting, we discussed the inclusive nature of supporting minority businesses and there wasn’t something that existed that made it easy for everyone to search through, organize, and communicate about which businesses help secure a consistent place for this market to thrive.

Well, today is the day. While my voice may not be present on social media, I wanted to make a difference.

As a component of the Columbus Business Alliance initiative, I am happy to announce a professionally done business directory that focuses on discovering the rich diversity of minority-owned businesses in our area. I hope it helps serve as connective tissue to equalize disparity in our business community and fills a gap that most do not know exists.

Take a moment and visit: https://www.columbusbusinessalliance.com/ – it is opened to ALL businesses. All we did is offer the ability to search for black-owned, woman-owned, and other minority-owned business categories so not only offering inclusiveness to race but also gender; or both gender and race, if needed.

Share it today and help our community discover the businesses they’ve been looking for. Thank you to Darius and Kristin for their help in testing and putting pictures to work. And thanks to the team at Stand And Stretch for helping pull this together so quickly.

Cheers!

My mission for 15 years: http://lucaslshaffer.com/mission/

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