The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives. People are staying home, the economy is struggling, and we don’t even know if it will be safe for kids to go back to school this year.

Although the virus has had an impact on nearly everyone, it has been especially hard on minority groups, who face additional roadblocks, challenges, and discrimination. Minority-owned businesses are trying to stay open while consumers spend less and less.

As we look ahead, we need to ensure that as many of these businesses as possible are able to remain open. Small businesses, especially those owned by minorities, are key to the American economic and social landscape.

In this situation, your dollars and voice matter. Regardless of your financial situation, there are things you can do to support minority-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actively Seek Out Minority-Owned Businesses 

The first way to support minority-owned businesses is to seek them out! All it takes is a quick web search to find some better alternatives to your go-to stores.

You don’t have to purchase things you don’t need to spend your money more wisely. Think about something you buy regularly and do some searching to see if you can shift your spending on this product to a minority-owned business in the future. Many small, minority-owned businesses have trouble getting traditional funding and rely on internal funding and revenue to keep their company going.

This is a great way to start supporting minority-owned businesses. You’ll still be purchasing the same types of items, but you’ll be thinking more critically about where your dollars are going. Bonus points if you divert your spending from a large retailer like Amazon or Walmart, as you’ll be supporting small businesses instead of lining the pockets of huge corporations.

Share the Benefits of Diversity with Friends and on Social Media 

We can only do so much on our own. You might know all of the benefits of diversity in our small business community, but don’t assume that everyone in your social circle does. It’s important to share information and resources for others to support minority-owned businesses.

Diversity isn’t just important for ensuring equality. It also makes sense from an economic perspective. We live in a diverse nation and representation matters in every context. Share your thoughts on social media, engage your friends, and educate people on why diversity matters. By sharing these benefits, you might encourage others to support minority-owned businesses.

Get Behind Buy Black and Other Minority-Owned Business Causes

Minority-owned businesses help to shape their communities. Cultural diversity helps to better reflect the wants and needs of a community, and we need more Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian business owners to build businesses that help their neighborhoods thrive.

It is more challenging for non-white entrepreneurs to get funding, secure real estate, and get their businesses off the ground due to discrimination and we need to support movements aimed at fixing these kinds of inequalities. Our communities depend on minority-owned businesses.

That’s why it’s so important to get behind initiatives to help Black and other minority-owned businesses thrive. You can sign petitions, post on social media, and write to your legislators on behalf of these small businesses. Your voice can help remove barriers for minority entrepreneurs to succeed!

If You Go To a Minority-Owned Restaurant, Promote it on Social Media 

Small businesses rely on word-of-mouth to grow their businesses. Today, social media is one of the most powerful word-of-mouth tools we have. Instead of telling your friends about your favorite spots individually, you can create a post that reaches hundreds of people at once.

It’s important to be vocal in your support of small businesses. Right now, every little bit of revenue helps. It might feel silly to post about the tacos you enjoyed this week, but remember that you might be helping the business stay open while helping your friends find their new favorite taco spot! Food pictures aren’t pointless—they can actually fuel new business for small restaurants and support minority-owned businesses.

Your Dollars Speak

It’s easy to feel sad about the state of the world right now. We’re all living in a state of constant stress and the systemic inequalities in our society are underneath the spotlight. But it’s important to remember that you’re not helpless. Your dollars speak! Use them to support minority-owned businesses during the pandemic and beyond.