GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Most women and minority-owned small businesses have a positive outlook because revenue is expected to increase in the next year, according to a recent report from Bank of America.

What You Need To Know

  • Women and minority-owned businesses expect an increase in revenue in the next year

  • Inflation and commodity prices are some of the top issues facing these small business owners

  • Despite economic challenges, small business owners plan to expand their business

Largely, these business owners say inflation and commodity prices are the two largest factors impacting their businesses. Despite the economic challenges, they are planning to expand in 2023.

Diamond’s Body Care based out of Bessemer City, is one of those businesses expanding in 2023. Owner, Diamond Brown, just moved into a larger lab and storefront in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Brown says the revenue and resources she has differed from when she quit her corporate job to focus on Diamond’s Body Care full-time two years ago. 

“It was hard getting some of my bottles and my labels and most of my raw ingredients because it was pandemic,” Brown said. “Not only that, funding wasn’t as easy because I did a lot of bootstrapping, a lot of using my own personal money to fund my business.”

She says she is grateful for where her business is today.

Brown is in the 52% of business owners who are expanding or planning to expand their business in the next year, according to Bank of America’s report. That’s a sharp increase from spring of 2022 when only 37% of small business owners said they were planning to expand.

Brown’s business makes shea butter, soaps and body oil from plant-based products. She says it started for her when her late husband was battling cancer in 2008.

“His skin was extremely dehydrated, due to the radiation and chemo,” Brown said. “So I went online, I took a few classes, and I learned how to make shea butter and within one week his skin had cleared up.”

Brown’s husband later passed away after a five-year battle.

“Then, I stopped making products... I said ‘what’s the use?’” Brown said. “And then those nurses and those patients started calling me and saying my product was really impacting them and making their skin very moisturized and hydrated.”

Brown said that is when encouraged to make products again, which became therapeutic for her. 

Now, Brown’s products are in airports, hotels and luxury spas. She also ships orders across the country.

Brown donates 10% of her proceeds to cancer survivors.