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Welcome to August

Posted on July 25, 2022

August may represent the dog days of summer, but it is also the time of many observances. Perhaps the most important is Black Business Month, which honors the 10 percent of US companies owned by Black people. August is also host to days honoring everything from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to S’mores.

Black Business Month

August is National Black Business Month. Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were approximately 134,000 black-owned businesses that employed at least one employee in 2019. The total number of black-owned businesses including businesses that had no employees except the owner was slightly more than three million in 2018.

Nearly 40 percent of black-owned businesses are in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, barbershops, beauty salons, and more.

In Massachusetts, Black- and Latino-owned businesses account for 3% of all the businesses with employees and 9% of all businesses including only a self-employed person.

There is more information on Black Business Month available here.

Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr founded National Black Business Month in August 2004 to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million total African-American businesses.”

National Massachusetts Day

National Massachusetts Day on August 17 recognizes the first New England colony and the sixth state to join the Union. Named after the indigenous people who populated the area when explorers (and later the pilgrims) first arrived, Massachusetts became an incubator for independence, education, and industry.

Some facts about Massachusetts history are available here.

National Chocolate-Chip Cookie Day

August 4 is National Chocolate-Chip Cookie Day. Massachusetts native Ruth Graves Wakefield developed the chocolate-chip cookie in 1937 at her Toll House restaurant in Whitman. Ms. Wakefield was an entrepreneur running the Toll House restaurant, publishing cookbooks and consulting with Nestlé’s chocolate.

National S’Mores Day

National S’mores Day is August 10. S’mores consist of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.

While chocolate has been around for centuries and graham crackers since the early 1800s, it took the creation of marshmallow in the early 1900s to create the conditions for the birth of S’mores. S’mores appear to have been developed in the 1920s, though it is unclear when the word “S’mores” became the more common name. No matter what, now is the time to enjoy a S’mores (or two) as part of your summer pleasures.

See you in September.