Issa Rae is still rooting for everybody Black. According to Variety, the actress recently teamed up with American Express to help support Black businesses. The collaboration, which is also a partnership with U.S. Black Chambers, specifically promotes ByBlack, the first national certification program for Black entrepreneurs.
With Black-owned businesses in the U.S. generating $150 billion annually, per USBC, and 44% of consumers seeking out Black companies, according to a recent study from American Express, ByBlack is a database that mutually benefits consumers and Black business owners.
The search for Black-owned businesses will become easier for consumers as the directory lists companies that are certified and guaranteed to be Black-owned, including her own beauty and haircare line with Hannah Diop, Sienna Naturals.
In turn, Black entrepreneurs who are in the database will be able to reach more people and get access to education and funding resources.
“Black businesses are American businesses,” Issa told Variety. “I think it’s one thing to support them during a very specific time when you feel guilty, but we’re beyond that. 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 easily find Black businesses is such a necessary change.”
“We have only scratched the surface of the collective power of Black businesses, so I am excited to join American Express and the USBC to shine a light on the opportunities ByBlack presents,” she added in a statement.
Though Issa Rae’s promotion of ByBlack is new, it’s not the “Insecure” star’s first time working with American Express and putting on for Black businesses. In October, during an interview with American Express’ “Built to Last” podcast, she manifested her desire to support Black entrepreneurs.
“I want to remind people that Black businesses aren’t just for Black people. Tell everybody! And also, I challenge Black business owner to be vocal and specific about the support that they need because no one knows your business like you do,” she said. “And to see so many PPP loans get denied to Black businesses, like I want to know which ones didn’t get the love and why. And I want to see what we can do as a community to support those businesses. Because these are community staples and we need to recognize how important they are to uphold.”