Black Business and Economic Stories for Dec. 7th to 13th 2020

Top Stories

  •  CEOs of Big Companies Pledge $100 Million for Initiative to Hire 1 Million Black Workers (Barrons)
  • Several top companies vow to hire a total of 1 million Black people over 10 years (NBC News)
  • Families of Color Are Now Facing an Economic Disaster (NY Magazine)
  • ‘Black is back’: A new grassroots effort aims to revitalize north St. Louis (St. Louis Today) – Great long article.
  • U.S. cities and states are discussing reparations for Black Americans. Here’s what’s key. (Washington Post)
  • Black Labor Has Built America Through Centuries (WDET) — Carnegie Mellon Professor and Author Joe Trotter about Black Labor
  • Google silences and then fires a Black artificial-intelligence expert (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • ‘Buy Black Downtown Macon’ tour to help businesses struggling during pandemic (13 WMAZ) — The whole goal of this event is to shine light on local businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.
  • The Spirits Business Is Stacked Against Black Owners — But That Can Change (Vine Pair) – In a room full of BIPOC industry leaders, there was only one person with an ownership position.
  • Pandemic is leaving students of color behind, creating long-term impact on their earnings and health (CNBC)

Stories

Coronavirus / Covid-19 / Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • How Alabama’s PPP loan approval totals varied by race (The Birmingham Business Journal)) — New data from the SBA shows how different races fared in terms of PPP lending.
  • Families of Color Are Now Facing an Economic Disaster (NY Magazine)

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig Economy

  • Black Labor Has Built America Through Centuries (WDET)
  • CEOs of Big Companies Pledge $100 Million for Initiative to Hire 1 Million Black Workers (Barrons)

Inequality / Systemic Racism / Economic Justice

  • “Unspoken” Docuseries Sheds Light On Systemic Racism In Entrepreneurship (Ideastream) – 4-part docuseries tells real stories of Black entrepreneurs facing systemic racism.
  • Black employees earn 20% less at Britain’s biggest bank. It’s trying to fix that (CNN Business) — Lloyds Bank has become the first UK lender to disclose the pay gap of its Black employees.

Black Business

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • Serious help may be on the way for America’s black entrepreneurs (The Economist). Black-owned businesses earn just 0.3% of total business receipts.
  • South Bay’s Black-owned businesses turn to networking to survive pandemic (San Jose Spotlight)
  • Black staff at Lloyds are paid 20% less than their peers, bank reveals (The Guardian). This number can be attributed to a lack of black staff in top roles.
  • Grow Michigan fund to provide $100 million in loans to minority-owned businesses (Crain Detroit Business)
  • Virtual Halle-Bration focuses on supporting Black-owned businesses (WCPO) — Halle-Bration is going virtual this year due to the pandemic, and this event will focus on supporting Black-owned businesses
  • Young Black Professionals spark new local movements (Dayton Business Journal) — One young professional group is uplifting the Dayton-area Black community with new initiatives
  • She hired her first employees a week before the pandemic arrived. How has business fared since then? (Q City Metro) — Destini Gilliam’s story is indicative of a much bigger narrative that has impacted Black businesses, specifically those owned by Black women.
  • Birmingham chefs sign on with Black Restaurant Week (Birmingham Business Journals) — This year, Black Restaurant Week LLC, the organization celebrating the flavors of African-American, African and Caribbean cuisine with a series of regional cultural events, will be in the spotlight in both Alabama and Birmingham.
  • Black business owners see opportunity at Avondale Town Center (WCPO) – Several prime commercial spaces facing Reading Road are under lease, and a majority of new establishments are owned by African Americans.
  • Black businesses in Austin navigating new challenges (Austin Talks) — Liz Abunaw, founder and owner of Forty Acres Fresh Market, attributes the influx of customers to conscious spending.
  • Minority Business Partnership expands its offerings (Dayton Business Journal) — Belinda Stenson has led the Minority Business Partnership for eight years but none quite like this current year.
  • Shop for the holidays & support Mid-South Black businesses through virtual Black Christmas Expo (Local Memphis) — Black Christmas Expo is a three-day weekend where you get to support and shop with 100 black businesses from the comfort of your own home.
  • ‘Buy Black Downtown Macon’ tour to help businesses struggling during pandemic (13 WMAZ) — The whole goal of this event is to shine light on local businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.
  • Black-Owned Outdoor Market (Miami Times) — New Richmond Heights market highlights local businesses
  • Want to support Macon’s Black-owned businesses? (Macon) – Take a tour.  Press release.
  • On the up in 2021: Three Black business owners growing revenue, staff and real estate next year (Knox News) — Meet three Black entrepreneurs who are coming out of 2020 stronger than ever, and are moving into 2021 with a growth mindset.
  • Black Business Support Collective mapping a post-Covid future for Black-owned businesses (Minneapolis Business Journal) – The Black Business Collective looks to navigate a post-COVID future for Black Businesses
  • Building wealth through Black Businesses (Chicago Crusader) — As part of an ongoing sponsored series on Black financial health, the Chicago Crusader is exploring the racial wealth gap, its impact on our community, and what’s being done to address it
  • New Platform Spotlights Black-Owned Businesses in Raleigh (Spectrum) — The Black Friday Market may look like any other store, but it’s a business model different from the rest
  • Englewood Shop That Helps Local Entrepreneurs Needs Support After Car Crashes Into Building (Block Chicago Club) — Justice Collins opened Culture Connection 360 to give local entrepreneurs a helping hand 12 years ago. Now, Collins needs a hand himself
  • Campaign urges holiday shoppers to patronize Black-owned retail stores (The Champion Newspaper) – Campaign aims to give a new meaning to Black Friday in an effort to uplift Black Businesses
  • Black Sunday Holiday Expo Showcases Small Businesses With Big Ambitions (KPIX 5) — The annual Black Sunday Holiday Expo featured an outdoor marketplace of small businesses with big ambitions.

Black Business Specific

  • Two High School Friends Open the First Black-Owned Toy Store in Carson Mall (NBC Los Angeles). Feon Cooper and Kareem Burton are the owners of the toy store called Black Star Collectibles.
  • Black-owned theater opened in the pandemic. Next year, it plans to be a permanent drive-in. (NJ.com)
  • How a new community is supporting Richmond’s Black entrepreneurs (The Business Journals)
  • Stylist Zerina Akers and Thrilling Are Putting Black-Owned Vintage Shops Front and Center (Vogue) — Akers has curated a special collection of her favorite vintage pieces from Black-owned businesses on Thrilling
  • 5 Local Black-Student-Run Businesses to Support this Holiday Season (The New Paltz Oracle)
  • Colorado Activewear Brand ICONI Featured In ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ (CBS Denver) – This small black-owned business found a following and eventually caught the attention of Oprah Magazine.

Big Business / Corporate

  • Starbucks Names Black Businesswoman Mellody Hobson, Chair of the Board (The Tennessee Tribune)
  • BMO Harris launches new program for minority-owned small businesses (NWI Times) — program is designed to increase small businesses’ access to capital through customized lending criteria and offers, educational resources, coaching and networking.

Discrimination

  • Google silences and then fires a Black artificial-intelligence expert (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Student Athletes at Black Colleges and Universities Sue NCAA Claiming “Intentional Discrimination” in Academic Performance Program According to FeganScott Law Firm (Business Wire)
  • Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s Grows (Patch)
  • Racial slurs painted on Black-owned business in Tower District (ABC 30) — Racial slurs as well as a skeleton with a noose around the neck on one of the gym doors discovered by employee.
  • Why Mastercard is publicly trying to fix its gender and racial pay gaps (Fortune)

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • Several top companies vow to hire a total of 1 million Black people over 10 years (NBC News)
  • A new book discusses not just why, but how the U.S. should pay reparations to Black Americans (Washington Post) – Discussion of “From Here to Equality” with William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen.
  • How to Hold Your Company Accountable to Its Promise of Racial Justice (Harvard Business Review) — Many companies expressed their solidarity with the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd. Here’s how to hold them accountable.
  • More US churches are committing to racism-linked reparations (AP)
  • Decades after her mom’s pot conviction, a daughter fights for marijuana reparations in N.J. (NBC News)
  • Amherst pursues reparations to Black residents (Daily Hampshire Gazette)
  • Wilmington could get a task force to study reparations (Delaware Public Media)
  • U.S. cities and states are discussing reparations for Black Americans. Here’s what’s key. (Washington Post)

Economics

Black Economics

  • A huge wealth gap makes economic recovery harder for Black Americans (Marketplace.org)
  • The Black-White Wealth Gap Left Black Households More Vulnerable (The Hamilton Project) – The latest data on the wealth gap between Black and White households.
  • Closing the racial wealth gap requires heavy, progressive taxation of wealth (Brookings)
  • Boston’s Greenwood Challenge, named after ‘Black Wall Street,’ surpasses $1M goal (Boston Business Journal) — Six months after launching a philanthropic fund to help close the racial wealth gap in Greater Boston, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) has raised $1.5 million
  • How you can help dismantle America’s economic apartheid (Triangle Business Journal) — Whatever success Black professionals enjoy comes despite the fact that most white Americans practice a kind of economic apartheid.
  • Google honours Sir W Arthur Lewis: All you need to know about the economist (Business Standard)
  • Cecilia Rouse on Track to be First Black Chair of Council of Economic Advisers: “The Safety Net Has Frayed (Ms. Magazine)
  • Biden economic team faces challenge in delivering help to Black communities (The Hill)

Straight up Econ / The Economy

  • The U.S. Child-Care Crisis Is Torturing Parents and the Economy (Bloomberg)
  • How to make the housing market more equitable (Wall Street Journal)
  • The original paper from Brooking is here. “The devaluation of assets in black neighborhoods: The case of residential property” (Brookings)
  • Are Home Prices in Black Neighborhoods Underpriced? (The Street) – Readers debate Andre Perry’s contention that Black Neighborhoods are underpriced by $156 billion. Most argue the market is always right and Black neighborhoods are crime infested without considering discrimination.
  • Noted Black Conservative Economist, Opponent of ‘the Welfare State’, Prof. Walter E. Williams Dead at 84 (CBN News)
  • Why Walter Williams was the People’s Economist (Lubbock Avalanche Journal)
  • Walter E. Williams, Black Voice of Libertarian Economics, dead at 84 (Atlanta Daily World)

Industry Stories

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • Atlanta Hawks Announce Agreement with Black-Owned Banks (Respect Magazine) – Hawks refinance a sports medicine complex with Black banks.

Marketing / Advertising / Sales / Consumer Behavior

  • No stories. Strange given how much we consume. Maybe Covid ??

Alcohol / Marijuana / CBD / Gambling

  • Cannabis equity advocates preview bill to create $100M Oregon program (The Business Journals)
  • Billionaire Jay-Z becomes the latest cultural influencer to launch his own cannabis brand (CNBC)
  • Black-owned cannabis businesses move forward (Bay State Banner)
  • How Black businesspeople were left out of Washington’s green gold rush after marijuana was legalized (Seattle Times) – It has been an uphill battle to create racial equity in the cannabis industry.
  • The Spirits Business Is Stacked Against Black Owners — But That Can Change (Vine Pair) – In a room full of BIPOC industry leaders, there was only one person with an ownership position.
  • We must participate in Richmond casino (Richmond Free Press) —  by Alfred Liggins, CEO of Urban One, Inc.
  • Black-owned cannabis businesses move forward. City and state equity programs fast-track marijuana shops (Bay State Banner) – Massachusetts

Beauty / Fashion / Retail

Technology / Apps / Innovation

  • Squire, a barbershop tech startup, triples its valuation to $250M in latest round (Tech Crunch) – We are wonder how much of the company they still control?
  • Serving Black and Latinx Communities, Banking Platform Greenwood Continues Upward Arc (ADWeek)
  • Startup Spotlight: Katika makes the connection to Black-owned businesses (Philadelphia Business Journal) — App and online marketplace connects consumers with Black-owned businesses, with ultimate aim to see Philly become a Black Silicon Valley.

Finance / Investing / Venture Capital

  • Black Americans donate a higher share of their wealth than Whites (Washington Post) — Despite lower net worth, Black Americans have a culture of charitable giving. They are philanthropists investing in their communities.
  • Commercial lending push at Black-owned banks gets results (American Banker) – Black banks are doing more commercial and industrial (C&I) loans.
  • Advocates Urge NJ Lawmakers to End Racial and Economic Bias in Auto Insurance Rate Setting (Insider NJ)
  • Atlanta Hawks become first sports team to secure financing from Black-owned banks (The Atlanta Voice)
  • Black-owned banks band together to finance pro sports facility (American Banker)
  • Black women and Latina entrepreneurs get less than 1% of venture capital (Chicago Sun Times)

Real Estate / Finance / Development / Housing / Segregation

  • Black Millennials Responsible For Increase In African American Homeownership (BET)
  • Thousands of languishing vacant and abandoned properties with unpaid taxes harm Black neighborhoods and suburbs. Cook County treasurer says program aimed at fixing the problem is not working. (Chicago Tribune)
  • How To Make The Housing Market More Equitable (Wall Street Journal). Homes in Black neighborhoods are underpriced by about $156 billion.
  • Black Millennials fueled a surprising 2020 home-buying surge for African Americans (CNN Business) — Cohort of Black adults between the ages of 26 and 39 spark a nationwide rise in the overall home ownership rate for African Americans.
  • How to Diversify Trump County (Bloomberg City Lab)

Construction / Jobs / Discrimination

  • City Council approves Philly construction tax and changes to property tax abatement in busy year-end session (The Philadelphia Inquirer). This legislation is aimed at protecting Black and brown workers in the service industry.

Cities / Urban Planning / Local Government

  • Philadelphia City Council approves pandemic-era ‘Black Workers Matter’ protections (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Created to promote job security.
  • ‘Black is back’: A new grassroots effort aims to revitalize north St. Louis (St. Louis Today) – Great long article.

Politics / Government / State and Local

  • Biden Cancelling Student Loans Could Close The Racial Wealth Gap (Forbes)
  • Georgia’s political revolution: Who will lead the new Black capital of America? (The Hill)
  • Biden-Harris Administration Commits to Ensure Government Spending with Black and Minority-Owned Media Businesses (Milwaukee Courier)

HR / Personnel / Human Capital

  • How to build a more diverse, inclusive technology team (Fast Company) – Sort of an advertorial from capital one credit cards.  Capital one is the largest issuer of credit card to Black people in the US.
  • How Madam C.J. Walker Built Racial Equity into Her Business (Harvard Business Review) — Walker built her venture, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, during the turn-of-the-twentieth century Jim Crow era and used it to lift up Black women amid a system of sexism and racial discrimination

Education / Healthcare

  • College board gives $18M to address African American unemployment in Ill. (23 WIFR)
  • Connecticut is 1st state to require high school courses on Black and Latino studies (News 19)
  • A wave of Black students takes presidencies at top-tier universities (NBC News)
  • A New York businessman donated a $1 million art collection to Morehouse College (CNN)
  • JPMorgan Chase awards $1 million to Delaware State University for Advancing Black Pathways initiative (WMDT.com)
  • Pandemic is leaving students of color behind, creating long-term impact on their earnings and health (CNBC)
  • Student loan cancellation ‘is a matter of racial and economic justice,’ Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley argues (Yahoo Finance)

Farming / Agriculture

  • Tall Grass Food Box Project Helps Black Farmers Struggling During The Pandemic (NPR)

Rehab / Re-entry / Corrections / Police

  • Activists criticize level of funding for Pittsburgh Police Department in 2021 budget proposal (Pennsylvania Capital Star) – Links to police budget in Pittsburgh

Science / Math / Statistics / STEM

People and Careers

Career / Professions / Entrepreneurship / Businesses You Can Start

  • Black Girl Ventures CEO on how to start a business: ‘Revenue is your validator’ (Yahoo Finance) — Shelly Bell launched Black Girl Ventures in 2016 to help minority women find capital to launch their businesses.

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • 2020 Women Who Mean Business honoree: Brit Fitzpatrick (Cincinnati Business Journal) – Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.
  • Maurice Davis couldn’t find a book with Black entrepreneurs. So he wrote one (The Gazette) — Maurice Davis wanted a book about entrepreneurship with characters looking like his 3- and 4-year-old sisters. So he made one.
  • Person of the Year: Aurora James (Retail Drive) — As retailers fretted about how to take action on systemic racism while people took to the streets for Black Lives Matter, a designer clarified things for them.
  • How brand strategist Ty Edwards is helping Black-owned businesses become global brands (Face2Face Africa) — An African-American branding expert with 17 years of experience in the field is chipping in to assist Black-owned businesses taking off.
  • Canela Lopez: It’s Time for Non-Black Latinx People to Talk About Anti-Blackness in Our Own Communities (Eur Web) — As the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US, Latinx people, in particular, must acknowledge the legacy of anti-Blackness in our communities, says Canela López (Read More Here)
  • With Grand Opening, ‘Communion’ Ushers In Community, Family, And Food For All (South Seattle Emerald) — a shimmering gold ribbon was cut, marking the opening of Communion Restaurant & Bar.

All Other

Caribbean / Africa / International

  • Black, Female-Owned Enterprise Flourish with Pragma’s Backing (Mining Weekly) — Mettle Petroleum has grown from a small business employing only four in 2017 to a company delivering projects over R2.5milion with 17 employees to date.
  • First black business hub launched in Liverpool as combined authority announces £200,000 fund for racial equality projects (Business Live) – Fund looks to identify and tackle barriers that negatively impact on the economic position of Black, Asian and Minority (BAME) communities.
  • Ottawa claims diversity is our strength. So why is it being sued by Black civil servants? (Globe & Mail)

Travel / History

  • International Black Business Museum press release (IBBM)
  • Visit Philadelphia Launches Initiative for Black- & Brown-Owned Businesses (Black PR Wire)
  • How Black-Owned Record Stores Helped Create Community (JSTOR Daily) – Black-owned record stores formed a consumer culture in which African Americans found respect, community, and a vibrant public life.

Opinion

  • ‘Separate approaches for seeking Black reparations don’t have to further divide us’ (The Atlantic Voice)
  • Opinion: Marijuana legalization may get a big push next year if only for the fact that governments could really use the tax cash (MarketWatch)

Other

  • International Black Business Museum Created to Honor the Genius of Black Entrepreneurs and Inventors (Send2Press Newswire)

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