Combating Racism One Dollar at a Time: Why Supporting Black-Owned Businesses is a Tangible Path Toward Equality 

Wilson Halley, owner of A+ Rated Wilson’s Auto World, is one of many black-owned business owners in the Twin Cities. However, unlike other minority industries in the metro area, Wilson’s Auto World acts as the only black-owned mechanic in Minneapolis. With hundreds of mechanics available throughout the city, it may be difficult to fathom; but with black business owners facing a harshly different standard than their white counterparts, it is no surprise that many black businesses fail to succeed in an unbalanced, biased economy. With recent civil unrest stemming from the aftermath of George Floyd’s shocking murder, momentum has never been stronger. By supporting black-owned businesses, just like Wilson’s, we can work to make a noticeable difference in our communities, one dollar at a time. Continue reading to learn more about Wilson Halley and the importance of supporting and promoting black-owned business owners in our local Minnesota communities. 

Wilson Halley - Black-owned Auto Repair Shop in Minneapolis
Meet Wilson, the owner and operator of the only black-owned mechanic and auto body shop in Minneapolis, called Wilson’s Auto World.

When the killing of George Floyd rocked the nation and escalated an ongoing conversation regarding racial inequality, many have asked, “What can I do to support communities of color?” While there are dozens of options ranging from social media outreach to monetary donations, there is one way that acts with a double meaning. What if you could combat discrimination while supporting your local community? Where you decide to put your dollar has lasting effects on you, the business and your regional economic landscape. Supporting black-owned businesses is a crucial way to show your support and send a far-reaching message to local and state officials. 

Minneapolis Auto Repair Shop
A look inside Wilson’s Auto World, the only black-owned mechanic in Minneapolis.

Why We Need to Support Black-Owned Business 

It is fair to say that people of color have hardly been afforded the same privileges as their white counterparts; there is certainly no exception when it comes to business and economics. With 22.2 million business owners in the United States, black-owned businesses make up 4.3% of that number. Additionally, black-owned businesses have greater difficulty in establishing and growing their business, marketing their brand, securing loans and finding investors. With the effects of COVID-19, 44% of black business owners have closed up shop, in comparison to 17% of white business owners. Many minority owned businesses struggle to access federal aid programs, meant to keep them afloat in the midst of an economic crisis. A survey conducted by the Global Strategy Group determined that only 12% of black and Latinx businesses received the full amount of benefits they applied for amidst the pandemic. 

With the senseless murder of George Floyd that took place in Minneapolis on May 25th, the Black Lives Matter movement was launched into the forefront of a desperately essential national awakening. With intense media coverage, riots and protesting, social media advocacy and monetary outreach, many minority entrepreneurs across the country have seen a rise in sales and revenue. The continued support of black-owned businesses is one way we can all extend this vital momentum. Choosing a black-owned business over a big-box retailer means supporting black communities, black culture, black leadership; it means giving credence to racial equality. 

Auto Repair Shop-2
Wilson’s Auto World as it stands today. Black-owned Minneapolis Mechanic and auto body shop sporting its new paint job.

How to Find Black-Owned Business

While black-owned businesses may not be explicitly advertised or labeled, there are plenty of ways to find minority shops and stores in your own community. 

  • Official Black Wallstreet: The most comprehensive directory that lists black-owned businesses across the nation.  They also have an app. 
  • Support Black Owned: A website that specifies all black-owned businesses across the country.
  • African American Literature Book Club: Perfect for finding any black-owned bookstore in your area 
  • EatOkra App: A great app for identifying black-owned restaurants and food services 
  • Instagram and Facebook: Use hashtags like #SupportBlackBusiness, #ShareBlackStories or #SupportBlackArt to find black-owned boutiques, clothing retailers, artists and more. (If you buy from a black-owned business, don’t forget to share your purchase on social media, giving full credit to the business and owner. Spread the word!
  • Google: One of the easiest ways to find black-owned businesses in your community. Type in “Black Owned Businesses” followed by your city, state and zip code 

If you live in a small community where black-owned businesses are not directly in your vicinity, lots of folks have resorted to ordering online from the thousands of minority entrepreneurs throughout the country who desperately need your business. 

Wilson's Auto World Circa 1955
Wilson Auto World circa 1955 on Old Highway 88 Minneapolis.

Meet Wilson – Owner of the Only Black-Owned Minneapolis Auto Repair Shop

Wilson Halley is a mechanic in Minneapolis and owner of Wilson’s Auto World. Wilson’s shop acts as the only black-owned auto repair shop in Minneapolis. The building Wilson’s Auto World is located in, has housed some form of auto repair shop at the same address on Old Highway 88 dating back to the early 1940’s.  Wilson bought the building a few years ago and opened the only black-owned auto repair shop in Minneapolis.  After gaining years of quality experience working at another Minneapolis institution, Bobby and Steve’s Auto World, Wilson knew he had what it took to open his own auto repair shop. And the rest is history. 

With a passion for quality service and customer satisfaction, Wilson’s not only offers dozens of auto repair services, including oil changes, tire replacement, and tune ups, they also do a bang up job (pun intended) with collision repair, auto body work and auto painting. In the midst of COVID-19, scheduling vehicle services online is no problem with a user friendly website and an accommodating staff ready and willing to answer any questions. 

Wilson’s Auto World is proud to offer the following automotive services in Minneapolis and surrounding areas:

  • Heat & AC Repair
  • Auto Body Repair
  • Auto Painting
  • Auto Repair
  • Battery Replacement 
  • Belts and Hoses
  • Brake Repair
  • Collision Repair
  • Coolant Flush
  • Computer Diagnostics
  • Diesel Service and Repair
  • Repair Drivelines 
  • Electrical Repair
  • Engine Repair
  • Free Loaner Vehicles
  • Motorcycle Repair
  • Muffler Repair
  • Oil Changes
  • Suspension Repair
  • Tire Installation
  • Tire Repair
  • Tire Rotation
  • Transmission Repair
  • Wheel Alignments
Wilson’s Auto World used to be a shell station and Minneapolis Auto Repair Shop in the 40’s and 50’s located on Old Highway 88 in 1957.

Wilson’s Auto World is just one example of thousands of black-owned businesses across the country who need and value the support of the Minneapolis community. It is up to us, the consumer, where we choose to spend our money. In an era of inequality, confusion and unrest, we can make a difference in our local Minneapolis community, regardless of the color of our skin. Choosing to support your local black-owned businesses is the beginning of a movement that could substantially shift the scope of economic and political protocol. In today’s society, it is no longer sufficient to not be racist: we must be anti-racist. That change begins with you.

If you’re in need of a honest mechanic in Minneapolis who does quality work and a focus on the customer, please contact Wilson’s Auto World for all of your Twin Cities auto repair needs. 

Wilson’s Auto World

1850 New Brighton Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 781-1778
wilsonsautoworld@gmail.com
wilsonsautoworldmn.com 

Wilson’s Auto World is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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