Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Well, one black couple has an idea worth discussing. Here’s news of a very interesting study . . .

Chicago Sun-Times (via blackelectorate.com)

by Cheryl V. Jackson,

Consumers worldwide might be tightening their belts, but Maggie Anderson’s mind is black with plots to spend.

Her Oak Park family is publicly committing to a year of buying from black-owned business and supporting black professionals exclusively, starting Jan. 1. (emphasis added)

These days, she’s searching frantically for black-owned firms for staple items and services, until she and her husband, John, can broaden their awareness of businesses and professionals. . .

And they’re aware of the challenges that lay ahead . . .

continued from Chicago Sun-Times:

The couple are prepared to potentially pay more for services and put more miles on their cars to patronize the businesses.

“I’m ready to buy $300 worth of groceries at a time,” Maggie said.

Michael Bennett, director of DePaul University’s Egan Urban Center and a researcher helping to measure the Anderson impact, said this effort stands out from the loads of buy-black initiatives he has seen over his 64 years.

“What’s different about this one is you have a family with an income level that will allow them to search out goods and services to be extremely intentional about doing the research about following up,” Bennett said.

There’ll be challenges, he noted. Finding a black barber is easy enough, and there are plenty of black medical professionals to choose from in Chicago. But finding a black-owned utility provider? That’s tougher, he said.

Very interesting stuff. The Andersons seem to be taking a page out of President-Elect Obama’s playbook by asking the question . . . “Why not?” It takes a bit of audacity to say, “I will buy black owned.”

But again . . . Why Not? Here’s their purpose statement (after the jump):

The Ebony Experiment exists because we are not doing enough as a community to support Black business. The plight and potential of Black entrepreneurs and professionals are virtually absent from the national dialogue. We believe they are key to creating and stimulating long–term wealth in Black communities… because Black businesses create the most Black jobs, they respect and understand Black consumers and investors, and the swelling pool of Black professionals drives growth of the Black middle class.

Something needs to be done. And the Black community is energized, hungry for change, and anxious to unite and improve their situation. We are ripe and ready for The Ebony Experiment. The Presidential election has produced a palpable excitement and energy in our community. The new sense of empowerment is at its peak, and can be transferred to and leveraged by the growing Black business and professional sector. The major goal of The Ebony Experiment is to prove that average individuals and families can generate significant economic growth in the Black community if they were to commit to purchasing from Black–owned businesses and professionals.

In a year, this becomes less of a study and more of a campaign for an increasingly connected, mobilized Black community – one that fosters more interdependence and exchange between businesses, professionals, consumers and investors. United and informed, we can demand more supplier diversity, employment diversity, investment and financing, enhanced access and service from mainstream corporations and financial institutions – and a more respectable share of the Black consumer/investor dollar. The Ebony Experiment is not about The Andersons. The Ebony Experiment is about all of us. The Ebony Experiment is our movement. (The Ebony Experiment)

Who knows how successful this can be. But I do admire the effort. As noted above, in the very least, this project could provide some much-needed exposure for a lot of black businesses throughout the country.

You can learn more about the project at The Ebony Experiment.

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