In St. Louis City, white employed residents are 36% more likely than black employed residents to own their business (Source: St. Louis MO). It goes to show that St. Louis isn’t the most financially equitable city. In fact, their financial empowerment score based on several equity factors (like homeownership and median household income between black and white residents) is 39.88 out of 100. The pandemic hasn’t helped much with financial equity. Despite this unfortunate-yet-honest depiction of St. Louis City’s financial inequities, several organizations in St. Louis are accepting the challenge of making the city a more financially equitable place. One organization in particular, Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, is providing resources to black owned businesses in St. Louis to continue to be successful, even in the midst of a pandemic. 


The Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce (HSBCC) has a four-pronged strategy to usher in profits for black owned businesses during the pandemic:

  • Create an online marketplace where businesses can place products for customers to shop online 
  • Offer a virtual pop-up every Saturday for 3 hours so businesses can talk about what they are selling 
  • Provide a directory to the public if they want to support certain black-owned businesses 
  • Allow black owned businesses to barter their services with other organizations when financial resources are limited.  


HSBCC also recognizes the need to grow the pipeline of African-American business. So they help businesses formulate a capability statement and become more bankable. Bankable black owned businesses have more opportunities to attain capital, HSBCC believes. HSBCC helps businesses with paperwork in the event they request funds from banks. 


If you are a black business owner from St. Louis and are looking for ways to showcase your products, HSBCC is your place to go! If you do not live in St. Louis, do not fear. There are quite a number of black chambers of commerce nationwide that are around to support your business in staying afloat and thriving. The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) is a great resource and starting point for finding resources to help guide you.