In a little over a year since the global pandemic began, COVID-19 has spread to over 200 countries, affected global economic growth beyond anything anyone has experienced in nearly a century, and left many businesses contemplating closing their doors.
Amid the chaos, Sharifah Hardie, a local Long Beach woman, has fearlessly stepped up to provide business owners with some sense of relief. After all, she is aware of the pain these business owners are experiencing. She has experienced it many times before, on more than one occasion.
After eight layoffs over 20 years, losing everything but the clothes on her back, being unable to find employment with a living wage, two divorces and minor support for her entrepreneurial ambitions this single mother of two knew that waiting for someone to come and save her or government assistance being able to sustain her was highly unlikely.
Not content to just provide consulting, public relations, website design, social media marketing, podcast creation and branding services to these struggling businesses through her company, Ask Sharifah, Ms. Hardie felt she had to do more. In March of 2020 she went into what she calls, “DIY-Mode.”
She launched the live daily show The Round Table Talk Show with five guests per episode. In this exciting business talk show the audience learns from the top experts, thought leaders and C-suite executives in the know about what is going on in the world.
On The Round Table Talk Show guests share their unique perspectives on business, offer advice, tips, and guidelines for the small businesses to follow and help each other get through this global pandemic. With such phenomenal guests and no set topic, it is anybody’s guess as to where the conversation will go.
In 2021, Ms. Hardie then saw a need for more networking opportunities for Black business owners. She partnered with the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce to launch a Chapter in Long Beach, CA.
The SCBCC, a business organization dedicated to improving the economic environment for the minority business community and fostering business development and prosperity, placing particular focus on economic development, community development, public policy, and membership services allows Ms. Hardie the opportunity to further support these businesses.
In her role as President Ms. Hardie serves the minority-owned business community of Long Beach and the surrounding cities of Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Carson, Torrance, Downey, Lynwood, and Norwalk.
“Black-owned small businesses are unequivocally struggling during the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, Black-owned small businesses have struggled for years prior to the global pandemic. Too many business owners are not aware of what resources are available to help keep their businesses afloat,” says Ms. Hardie.
“Small businesses strengthen our community and our country. We must do everything in our power to increase every business’s access to grants, information, and resources. We must also ensure that business owners are prepared to take advantage of these programs. My goal is to partner with more organizations and obtain sponsorship from corporations committed to ensuring our small businesses succeed.”
Ms. Hardie once again felt she had to do more. It was time to reach more people. She launched IT TV – The It TV Network. A network targeted to business owners, entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives, and creatives. The network currently has airtime available and is considering new content.
Yet, there is more to be done and doing more takes your support.
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