It Really Be Your Own People: Why Black Folks Need To Quit Asking For Discounts & Hookups

June 6, 2018  |  

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Today, on Twitter, a woman shared a story about a potential customer trying to come for her about the rate she quoted her for a catering service.

Be sure to click through to read the full extent of the audacity.

First of all, I hope you all saw the extent of that menu. The woman said she wanted an omelet station, every type of meat, a waffle station, a salmon dish, fresh fruit, shrimp and grits, fresh cooked vegetables and more. And she wanted all of this food to feed 200 people.

The grocery bill alone—not to mention the time and labor it would take to prepare all of this food on relatively late notice, (She needed all of this in roughly two months time.), made the quote more than reasonable.

If you were to go to brunch, you could expect to pay $28/per person for their standard menu. The fact that this is custom and being prepared by a small business owner, I think it’s more than fair.

And yet, this woman literally “lol-ed” at her quote and then attempted to diminish her business by calling her an “Instagram caterer” as if IG is preparing and delivering meals now. She’s using the social site to market and promote her brand—just like millions of other people out here.

Then the would-be client attempted to pay her less than half of her quote— $2,100 with a take it or leave it to boot.

Wow.

Thankfully, this woman was able to use this opportunity to promote her business @highlyflavored.

This story struck a particular chord with me because it’s something I know firsthand. But first, it was through watching my mother.

My mom started running her own daycare when I was in middle school. Personally, I thought the idea was crazy but it wasn’t long before it grew into the business that supported two families. But as you might assume, it wasn’t without its struggles, some of which were caused by our own people.

I remember my mom saying one day, “I can’t stand working with these Black people.” I cringed immediately. Not only because my mom is Black but also because both of my parents raised us to be pro-Black. So the idea that she would speak against her own people was not only foreign, it was offensive.

“Mom! Don’t say that.”

Still hot, she would continue. “I mean it! Black parents come in here wanting a discount, wanting to negotiate the rate. They want to tell me what my price should be. They want to offer my cash (less than her rate) like I’m going to jump at that. I’ve never had a White parent do that to me. Ever.”

The White parents came with their own set of issues. But that’s another story for another day.

What could I say? After all, I wasn’t operating a business. I couldn’t relate. But as I got older and starting running my own businesses, I experienced exactly what my mother meant. And while I wouldn’t use the wording my mother chose, now I OVERstand the sentiment. Black people are quick to ask a Black business for a discount, a hookup as if business owners in our community, competing with small White-owned businesses and major corporations, are in a position to be refusing money.

If you call yourself supporting a Black business, do just that. Pay the rate they quote you because, more than likely, after the costs and expenses they’ve incurred to get it to you, it’s more than fair. And more importantly, you’re supporting your community, by contributing to financial independence.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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