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How To Find BIPOC, Women, And Minority-Owned Businesses For Your Next Home Project

Use these resources to find the right person or business to help with your home improvement journey.

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There is a significant racial disparity in homeownership in the United States. The same is true for ancillary industries, like appraisals, inspections, handy repairs, construction, design, and architecture. While there may be many skilled tradespeople in your area, the common tendency is to go back to the same few companies that are tried and true. However, new businesses are popping up every day, including those owned by underrepresented contractors.

“In today’s digital landscape, finding and hiring BIPOC, especially Black home improvement professionals, involves deliberate steps,” says Pascale Sablan, the Global President of the National Organization of Minority Architects. “[Leverage] social media and online forums, and [use] specific search terms like ‘BIPOC,’ ‘Black-owned,’ ‘minority-owned’ to find professionals who meet your project’s needs.”

The importance of hiring BIPOC (and especially Black) talent transcends just filling a role, Sablan says. It’s about enriching your project with diverse perspectives, supporting economic growth within communities, and championing inclusivity in the industry.

To keep the home improvement industry thriving in your town or region, it’s important to spread business around and employ a diverse, talented array of craftspeople. But where do you start? From nationwide directories to business certification registries, there are lots of places to help you find the right service provider for your needs. Use these resources to search for and vet BIPOC and women-owned businesses you might never have heard of before.

Related: 33 Black-Owned Businesses To Shop This Holiday Season (and All Year Round)

Try Online Marketplaces

If you’ve been on the hunt for decor items, small parts, and even household appliances, chances are the last thing on your mind is who owns the companies that supply the items. However, there are online marketplaces that make purchasing from underrepresented business owners quick and easy. From wall decals to bolts & screws to gardening care basics, you can get the same quality products from BIPOC- or women-owned businesses.

Amazon boasts a Black Excellence list to highlight Black-owned brands, Cúltura for Hispanic-owned brands, as well as other small business marketplaces for women, Asian & Pacific Islander, and LGBTQIA+ owned shops. Target also disaggregates the brands it stocks, particularly Black-owned and founded home-focused companies and a home & garden-focused section for Hispanic-owned and founded companies. Etsy can also narrow searches to sift out heritage brands, but you will need to manually search for home and decor-related brands within the thousands of other retail options on the platform.

Search Local, County, or State Registries

Many cities and states have incentive programs for small businesses registered and operating in their jurisdiction. When those businesses are underrepresented in the market, they may even qualify for tax incentives, government contracts, and other subsidies that help them thrive. In New Jersey, for example, companies can be registered for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise certification. The City of Phoenix, Arizona has a similar program called the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification Program. And in Texas, the certification covers Veteran, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses.

In some places, there’s a public registry of businesses that have these credentials. In other places, you’ll have to reach out to the certifying body to ask. Call your local, county, or state small business bureau or chambers of commerce if you can’t easily find what you need online.

Try Online Business Directories

There are many national business directories dedicated to helping consumers find minority-owned businesses of all kinds. General business directories are great places to start, but you may have to dedicate some time to narrow your search by location and service type.

Below is a short list of directories that are great for finding any BIPOC, women, and minority-owned business. Limit the search fields to find featured home-improvement vendors like contractors, inspectors, plumbers, landscapers, interior decorators, stagers, home decor sellers, real estate businesses, legal services, and much more.

  • BuyBIPOC Colorado

  • ByBlack

  • Find A Biz | Support Black Owned

  • I Am Black Business

  • Intentionalist

  • Minority Business Development Agency

  • Official Black Wall Street (obws.com)

  • Shop Black-Owned

  • Support Latino Business

  • Women and Minority Owned Businesses

Look for Membership-Based Organizations

Alternatively, there are niche directories and curated member lists specific to the home improvement industries that can help you find your next pro. The Architect, Engineer and Construction Diverse Owned Business Directory curated by Washington University in St. Louis allows you to search a diverse array of businesses across the construction industry. You can also get more specific by looking at professional organizations, industry associations, and industry-specific directories. Here are a few options to get you started:

  • Directory of African American Architects

  • Great Diverse Designers Library

  • Hispanic Association of Small Businesses

  • National Association of Minority Contractors

  • National Black Contractors Association

  • National Hispanic Contractors Association

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council

  • National Organization of Minority Architects

  • Regional Hispanic Contractors Association

  • Women’s Council of Realtors

Explore Social Media

Asking around in local Facebook groups or Reddit threads are as good a place as any to begin, but you may also have to do more digging than that. Word of mouth on the Neighborly and NextDoor app, is equally as important. For Latinx or Hispanic-owned companies, you may have more success looking up hashtags and search terms in Spanish.

Last, remember that many Black- and minority-owned companies aren’t advertised as such. For fear of backlash or bias, owners may not always volunteer that the founders or main employees are not predominantly white. Continue to rely on customer reviews, referrals, and community recommendations to learn all you can about the prospective home improvement pros that service your area. Although nothing can replace face-to-face interactions, social media is a great tool to conduct your preliminary search.

Related: How to Put Your Money Back Into Native Communities

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