Published on July 16th, 2020 | by Jae Monique0
Real Topics in Today’s New Reality: BLM, COVID and Impact on Businesses
In the current state of affairs, the overall impact on today’s economy, health, degree, or lack of unity, and political divisiveness leaves much to be determined, explored, and debated. Nevertheless, while the world is experiencing similar issues, the personal and professional impact for each can paint a much different picture. Such is the case with Terrence Thames, a Black American business owner who generously shares his perspective and impact throughout these unsteady and uncertain times in his everyday life, as well as suggestions for others ready to embark an entrepreneurial career during this new reality.
Terrence Thames offers many years of experience in videography, production, and creative services, as a founder of Cocoa Creative Agency (Des Moines, IA)—a creative and production strategy agency that connects brands with their target audience through visual storytelling in video, graphic design, and targeted advertising campaigns to brands, businesses, and government agencies. Prior campaigns include large brands, such as Papa John’s, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Allstate Insurance, etc.
Take a closer look at Terrence’s perspective and words of wisdom in this insightful interview below.
As a Black American entrepreneur, what are your thoughts and feelings on the current situation?
Terrence Thames: Black Entrepreneurs, for the most part, already have a tough time scaling their businesses. During COVID, a lot of Black entrepreneurs have taken a hit and also have a lack of resources to help us recover. It’s a tough time right now.
Why do you feel the BLM movement will transpire and/or change the way companies moving forward do business?
Thames: I think the BLM movement is impactful, but they do not speak for the entire community and for our needs. From an economic equity standpoint, my hope is that, initially, corporations, states, and local governments make a much larger commitment to spending money with black-owned businesses. Creating supplier diversity and supplier equity standards with spending 15% – 20% of their annual supplier budgets with black-owned businesses would be a great start.
Do you have any ideas or suggestions for the businesses that are currently closed because of the COVID-19 to ensure their future success?
Thames: I think businesses should really focus on growing their social media presence to engage with their target audience, in order to help them grow sales. I would also suggest that black businesses get busy with promoting themselves and telling their story. Public Relations is necessary these days and we can’t be shy about putting ourselves out there.
How do you think we can create social change in the current events going on?
Thames: We need to address issues around racially-biased laws and systems that keep the black community from moving forward. This would have to be addressed in many areas of our society, and the conversation should include reparations for black people as well.
What advice would you give younger entrepreneurs?
Thames: Be true to yourself, perfect your passion, and seek out mentorship.
How can people tap in and get more tips for entrepreneurship?
@CreateCocoa – Cocoa Creative Agency
@CreativeThames – Personal