All Black business and economics stories for the week of Oct. 26 to Nov. 1st

Top Stories

  • US Postal Service provides life-changing path forward for Black employees in Maryland (Baltimore Sun)
  • U.S. Black-Owned Firms Make Surprise Comeback to Pre-Covid Level (Bloomberg)
  • Yes, Black Americans are entitled to reparations. We’ve earned them. (Washington Post) – Michelle Singletary, Yeah !!!
  • McDonald’s hit with new lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against Black franchisees (Herald Review) – Two Black owners of McDonald’s franchises accuse McDonald’s of a predatory growth strategy.
  • CBS Studios, NAACP Venture Appoints Sheila Ducksworth President, Opening Doors For Black People In TV (Forbes) – Story has links to two other interesting related studies:
  • Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys
  • Hollywood Diversity Report 2020
  • He Was Arrested for Weed at 13, and He’s Selling It Legally at 27 (Bloomberg). Seun Adedeji is among Black entrepreneurs pushing for a share of a $16 billion legal marijuana industry dominated by Big Business
  • Black CEO And Founder Of Marijuana Businesses Breaks Boundaries In the Cannabis Industry (Baller Alert). His brand Elev8 Cannabis is here.
  • Shawn’s Hemp: Former NBA All-Star Kemp enters pot business (AP)
  • The Minority Cannabis Business Association link.
  • Meet the First Black Woman to Launch a Community Solar Company (Vogue). Kristal Hansley is the CEO of WeSolar, a community solar company providing affordable energy to low- and moderate-income families. 
  • Campaign launched to create 10,000 Black internships across business, education sectors (Financial News). Businesses, politicians and education groups have launched a program to create 10,000 internship opportunities for young Black people across the UK.

Protest / Social Justice

  • America’s biggest unions are bungling the current racial justice moment and failing their workers of color (Business Insider)

Coronavirus / Covid-19 / Paycheck Protection Program

  • Black Women Were Among The Fastest-Growing Entrepreneurs—Then Covid Arrived (Forbes).
  • The Pandemic Has Exacerbated Housing Instability for Renters of Color (Center for American Progress)

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig

  • Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery. (New York Times) — Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March
  • Campaign launched to create 10,000 Black internships across business, education sectors (Financial News). Businesses, politicians and education groups have launched a program to create 10,000 internship opportunities for young Black people across the UK.
  • US Postal Service provides life-changing path forward for Black employees in Maryland (Baltimore Sun)

Inequality / Systemic Racism / Economic Justice / UBI

Black Business Specific

  • Urban One: The Most Undervalued Black-Owned Stock In America (Seeking Alpha). Urban One generated over $387 million in revenue over the last 12 months, making them one of the most undervalued stocks on the NASDAQ.
  • This entrepreneur is competing with DoorDash — by delivering only from Black-owned restaurants (Vox) – Black and Mobile is a Black-owned food that delivers exclusively from Black-owned restaurants.
  • Indiana University student Kadiatou Diallo launches eco-friendly hair care line: Crowned Helix (IDS)
  • Confectionately Yours among small Milwaukee businesses awarded $10K from Fiserv Inc. (Milwaukee Business Journal) – Confectionately Yours awarded $10,000 through Back2Business initiative.
  • Pope’s Florist has been part of Waukegan community for decades, hopes to bring joy with flowers (ABC Chicago) – Florist of 30 years responds to relocation, among other things, brought by 2020.

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • U.S. Black-Owned Firms Make Surprise Comeback to Pre-Covid Level (Bloomberg)
  • Black Business Friday to Launch Online Nov. 27 (Womans Wear Daily)
  • We Rise Black Business Accelerator Program (Sedona Biz) – Applications for WE Rise’s culturally responsive entrepreneurial environment end November 20.
  • Jackson Ward Collective aims to help and uplift Black business owners (Richmond Times Dispatch) – Jackson Ward Collective aids Black businesses through sharing of lived experiences.
  • Jacksonville Targeted For Black Restaurant Accelerator Program (WJCT) – Jacksonville one of 12 cities to get boost for Black-owned restaurants.
  • Black Female-Led Venture Fund is Leading The Way to Increasing a New Generation Focused on Investing in Women of Color Entrepreneurs (PR Newswire).
  • 5 Ways You Can Help Black Female Founders Build Their Legacy Right Now (Forbes).
  • How one Kansas City group is building up Black-owned businesses (Kansas City Starentre)

Big Business / Corporate

  • PayPal Invests in Racial Equality (New York Times) – Paypal’s pledge includes $530 million allocated to Black-owned businesses
  • PayPal Invests in Local Black, Latino VCs (Los Angeles Business Journal) – PayPal invests $50 million across eight Black and Latino venture capital funds
  • Apple Growth Partners Introduces Initiative to Grow Black-Owned Businesses (Yahoo Finance) — IMPACT’s goal is to increase Black business owners’ financial network while creating traction for change
  • Bank of America invests in three more minority-focused lenders (American Banker).
  • Barclays launches accelerator for black-founded tech firms (Finextra) – 25 black-led technology firms will work in 12 week virtual accelerator program.
  • American Express Launches ‘Built to Last’ to Celebrate Black-owned Small Businesses (WWD) – New podcast focuses on supporting the recovery and development of small Black-owned businesses.
  • Facebook is expanding an upskilling program aimed at helping Black and Latinx small business owners who have been hardest hit by the pandemic (Business Insider) – Facebook’s focus on Black and Brown businesses part of $1.1 billion commitment to reduce racial inequality in the US
  • Building Black Financial Wealth (Chicago Crusader) – The Crusader partners with JP Morgan Chase to close the racial wealth gap.
  • Facebook, Uber Reveal New Initiatives in Support Of Black Entrepreneurs (Betakit) – CBCC president hopes grants can strengthen Black entrepreneurs’ online reach and capacity.
  • Goldman Sachs Foundation President Asahi Pompey: Black businesses are over-mentored and under capitalized (Yahoo Finance).

Discrimination

  • McDonald’s hit with new lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against Black franchisees (Herald Review) – Two Black owners of McDonald’s franchises accuse McDonald’s of a predatory growth strategy.
  • McDonalds is facing another discrimination lawsuit (Restaurant Business)
  • Black man kicked out of restaurant for wearing sneakers blames racism (Business Insider) – A White customer wearing sneakers was already in the restaurant.

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • Yes, Black Americans are entitled to reparations. We’ve earned them. (Washington Post) – Michelle Singletary, Yeah !!!
  • The Number of Black Board Members Surged After George Floyd’s Death (Barron’s). In the five months since Floyd’s death, Russell 3000 companies (P&G, Target, Pinterest, Pepisco, etc.) appointed 130 Black board members.
  • In a Bid to Diversify, Firms Expand Business-School Recruiting (Wall Street Journal). Companies are recruiting more business students at historically Black colleges and universities this year in an attempt to diversify their talent pipelines.
  • Reasons Why Corporate Organizations Should Pay Black Experts In Black History Month (Forbes). 
  • At San Francisco’s Lowell High School, Leftists Turn Against Merit(Independent Institute) — Conservative

Straight Up Econ / The Economy

  • The re-privatization of Fannie and Freddie will blunt improvement of racial wealth gap (CT Mirror)

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • CBS Studios, NAACP Venture Appoints Sheila Ducksworth President, Opening Doors For Black People In TV (Forbes) – Story has links to two other interesting studies:
  • Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys
  • Hollywood Diversity Report 2020
  • This Founder Is CEO Of The First Black-Owned Anime Studio In Japan (Forbes). Arthell Isom is the CEO and art director of D’Art Shtajio. 
  • BET presents the ‘2020 Soul Train Awards’ on Sunday, November 29 at 8 p.m. (WCLK)
  • Instagram row over plus-size model forces change to nudity policy (The Guardian). Facebook and Instagram amends their code based on a discriminatory flaw.
  • Nas produces and narrates new doc ‘Smoke: Marijuana + Black America’ (The Grio)

Marketing / Advertising / Consumer Behavior

  • Is Your Marketing ‘Thoughtfully Inclusive’ of African Americans? (CMS Wire) – Cheryl Grace calls for thought inclusivity in marketing to Black consumers.

Alcohol / Cannabis

  • He Was Arrested for Weed at 13, and He’s Selling It Legally at 27 (Bloomberg). Seun Adedeji is among Black entrepreneurs pushing for a share of a $16 billion legal marijuana industry dominated by Big Business
  • Black CEO And Founder Of Marijuana Businesses Breaks Boundaries In the Cannabis Industry (Baller Alert)
  • His brand Elev8 Cannabis is here.
  • The Minority Cannabis Business Association link.
  • Shawn’s Hemp: Former NBA All-Star Kemp enters pot business (AP)
  • NBA legend Shawn Kemp to open Seattle’s first Black-owned cannabis store(Leafy) – Story from industry trade magazine
  • Courvoisier® Cognac Partners With National Urban League To Support Black Small Business Owners And Entrepreneurs (PR Newswire)
  • Nas produces and narrates new doc ‘Smoke: Marijuana + Black America’ (The Grio)
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Social Equity in Cannabis (Healthline)—References report below:
  • Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry

Technology / Apps / Innovation

  • Forethought Raised $17 Million From Investors Like Ashton Kutcher And Diddy To Take On Customer Service With AI (Forbes) – Forethough.ai
  • EatOkra app helps users find 150 Chicago-area Black-owned restaurants, bars (ABC) —  EatOkra app is the first smartphone app to curate over 3400 Black-owned restaurants throughout the US.

Finance / Investing / Venture Capital

  • LISC leads institutional VC commitments to first-time Fearless Fund investing in women of color (PR Newswire). LISC invests in the Fearless Fund, a $20 million venture capital fund in Atlanta launched by women of color that invests exclusively in early-stage startups led by women of color. 
  • Impact America Fund closes $55M to invest in startups targeting the world’s overlooked (Tech Crunch). Kesha Cash, one of the few Black female general partners in venture capital, says she wants to invest in companies that work on solutions for the world’s overlooked and underserved.

Real Estate / Housing / Segregation

  • Why homeownership costs for Blacks are disproportionately high and what can be done about it (Bankrate.com)
  • Bank programs seek to widen the path to Black homeownership (Washington Post) – Program will repair damage from sub-prime mortgage problems. Great long article with lots of good references to mortgage discrimination problems.

Real Estate / Finance / Development / Segregation

  • 100 new homes being built for Black homeowners in west Louisville (Wave 3 News)

Real Estate / Construction / Development / Discrimination

  • Supporting minority construction businesses will strengthen New York City (Real Estate Weekly)

Politics / Government / Federal, State And Local

  • Black Small Business Grants Up To $15K In ATL, Apply By Nov. 4 (Yahoo News) – Grants up to $15000 available through the Atlanta Well-Being Initiative
  • Wicker’s bipartisan bill establishes more minority business centers (Ripon Advance) – Bill looks to extend resources to rural or underserved minority populations.
  • Rock Hill’s Black economic leaders want equity in city’s growth (Q City Metro) — Black Economic Leadership League is pushing for inclusion with jobs and business opportunities.
  • Pennacchio & Kean Bill to Review Effectiveness of Programs Supporting Businesses Owned by Minorities and Women Clears Senate (Insider NJ) – Kean and Pennacchio hope to improve SAVI database, which aids in matching buyers and vendors for private contracting opportunities.
  • Wicker, Kaine, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Minority Business Support to Rural Areas (Y’all Politics). Three senators introduced the “Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act of 2020”  which would authorize the establishment of 10 business centers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
  • Black leaders discuss unrest, path to economic recovery for Philly (Philadelphia Tribune)

Law / Legal / Non-Profits / Philanthropy

  • Ressler Gertz Family Foundation and Hawks Investing $40 Million in Atlanta, Bolstering Economic Empowerment in Black Community and Expanding Community/D&I Commitment (NBA). A $5 million commitment will be made to the Herman J. Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), the largest non-profit center for Black entrepreneurs in the nation.
  • Business leaders in Des Moines helped me build Urban Dreams, and we’re poised to grow more leaders (Des Moines Register)

Arts / Music / Culture

  • As museums face racial and economic problems, smaller institutions are showing progress (KCRW Public Radio)

Education / Healthcare

  • Fresno State honors professor who helped launch Black and ethnic studies programs in ’60s (Fresno Bee)

Rehab / Re-Entry / Corrections / Police

  • Critics say Blacks, Hispanics unfairly targeted in marijuana enforcement (WFAA). Dallas DA, judge among those who say ‘cite and release’ program, aimed at saving money and keeping people out of jail, disproportionately snares minorities.

Career / Professions / Entrepreneurship / Businesses You Can Start

  • This old school in Port Richmond is a new, diverse hub for Philly’s young entrepreneurs, artists, and creators (Philadelphia Inquirer) –Young black entrepreneurs attracted to Port Richmond hub.
  • “Born for This”: Meet the First Black Woman to Launch a Community Solar Company (Vogue). Kristal Hansley is the CEO of WeSolar, a community solar company providing affordable energy to low- and moderate-income families. 
  • Black-Owned Tech Start Up Revolutionizes Home Inspection Industry (Black Wall Street Times). A tech start-up called AfterrHome is using Artificial Intelligence to help prospective buyers and sellers book and facilitate home inspections.
  • AMEX adds Diversity and Technology Expertise with Charles Phillips – former Marine and current Technology Superstar(The Street)
  • Opinion: America should bet its chips on entrepreneurs (Dallas Morning News) – Not sure what to make of this since big business has been crushing small business for years.

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • Meet the First Black Woman to Launch a Community Solar Company (Vogue). Kristal Hansley is the CEO of WeSolar, a community solar company providing affordable energy to low- and moderate-income families. 
  • York (City College)’s National Association of Black Accountants talks business (York Pandor’s Box)
  • Forethought Raised $17 Million From Investors Like Ashton Kutcher And Diddy To Take On Customer Service With AI (Forbes) – Forethough.ai
  • Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a new book: “The Rise” (Salon)
  • Cox CIO Greg Morrison led and inspired (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Good News

  • Black-Owned Tea Company Lands Investment From Kevin Hart (Newsone)

Caribbean / Africa / International

  • Jamii Founder Khalia Ismain Proves There’s Power In Being A Doer (Bustle) – Jamii is a discovery platform for Black-owned businesses
  • As they wait for promised help from Justin Trudeau, ‘Black businesses are dying’ (The Standard) – Black businesses suffer as federal government funding anticipated to come in 2021
  • Adapt, endure and expand: How Black entrepreneurs are handling the challenges posed by the pandemic (Financial Post) – Addai’s African print business soars despite pushback.
  • City charter pushes business to bring through senior black executives (Financial Times) – Charter’s goal is to have more black people in senior positions in financial and professional services companies in the UK.
  • Campaign launched to create 10,000 Black internships across business, education sectors (Financial News). Businesses, politicians and education groups have launched a program to create 10,000 internship opportunities for young Black people across the UK.
  • ‘The Black Pages’ Will Be Canada’s First Digital Directory Of Black-Owned Businesses (Narcity)
  • Black British Business Awards announces 2020 winners (City AM) – UK

Travel / History

  • BOSS: The Black Experience in Business (WNET)

Conservative / Alternative

  • Jared Kushner Says African-Americans Must ‘Want to Be Successful’ (Bloomberg). Trump’s advisor asks if Black people want to become successful and thinks that the Trump Administration will help them do that.
  • Kushner, Employing Racist Stereotype, Questions if Black Americans ‘Want to Be Successful’ (New York Times). Same story as above, different perspective.

Opinion

  • Supporting minority construction businesses will strengthen New York City (Real Estate Weekly)

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