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Honoring Juneteenth: The Economic Impact of Supplier Diversity

As we celebrate Juneteenth this June, I want to take a moment to thank my clients for giving JKA the privilege of supporting their supplier diversity programs. This recognition is especially significant during a time when many believe that supplier diversity programs are under attack.

While it’s true that some supplier diversity programs are facing challenges and even being dismantled, the reality is that we, as a diverse community, are not going anywhere. Our numbers are growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, the probability that two people chosen at random would be from different racial or ethnic groups was 61.1%, up from 54.9% in 2010. In the same year, the percentage of children under 18 who were non-Hispanic White was 50%, highlighting the growing diversity among younger generations.

This demographic shift has a significant impact on the bottom line for any corporation. The buying power of minority groups in the U.S. is substantial. According to a 2020 report via CNBC, Black buying power was $1.4 trillion in 2019, and it’s projected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2024. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center report, an estimated 47.2 million people self-identified as Black, making up 14.2% of the country’s population. While this may not seem significant to some, it represents an enormous market that many marketers and advertisers have largely ignored.

As a business owner, I think it’s important for all of us to recognize and celebrate diversity and remember that supplier diversity is not just a nice thing to do or the right thing to do—it’s not charity. Supplier diversity is about economic impact, pure and simple.

As diverse businesses, we need to recognize the power we have as consumers and embrace each other. Let’s continue to advocate for inclusive practices, support minority-owned businesses, and celebrate the rich diversity that makes our community and economy strong.

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