*Images were taken in the fall of 2019 during a video interview for the Business Appreciation Breakfast.
What would it look like if the economy loved Black entrepreneurs?
If the economy loved Black people, then we wouldn’t need to consider whether we need to love Black entrepreneurs but if we did choose to do that, it would look like more than 1% of Black entrepreneurs being approved for loans. It would not be such a surprise to find Black business owners or black businesses. In Fort Collins, you can list the Black-owned businesses on one sheet of paper.
What would we lose if BIPOC businesses were unable to survive in Fort Collins?
If BIPOC businesses were unable to survive in Fort Collins, unfortunately, I don’t know that we would notice much of a difference as there aren’t that many as it is. Not to sound negative but our businesses aren’t a huge part of our community currently. I would say that if more banks, credit unions were open to looking at more Black businesses as viable and providing financing that would help create more businesses as well as education that the barrier to entry is not that high.
What support did you need during this time that was missing? What type of support do you feel you received?
In terms of support, I personally don’t need anything but a platform to help educate minorities on how to open their own business and become more self-sufficient. During COVID, my business was supported by its members and the community who purchased shirts and gift cards to help us stay afloat.
Recognizing the impacts COVID has had on your business, what do you or your business need most to succeed/recover?
We could have definitely used some financial help but we scraped and fought to get by.
What is one thing you want the Fort Collins community to know about you as a business owner?
What I would like the Fort Collins community to know about me as a business owner is that I am not rare. There are a lot of Joe Buckner’s out there who are just needing a chance to learn how to be their own boss and become self-sufficient. They just need to see that it is possible. I would be happy to lend my voice to this fight and I believe that if we empower more business owners to get started, we can help our economy and community.
Joe’s number one rule in his gym is to be a good human. Hear more from Joe during his interview for the 2019 Business Appreciation Breakfast here including what keeps him fighting as a business owner and how other local business owners have supported him.