Black Business and Economic Stories for December 14th to 20th 2020

Top Stories

  • Darien man launches Black-owned ‘legacy’ cereal brand (Darien Times)
  • Blacks fail to make inroads into high-paying, senior-level city jobs under Kenney (Philadelphia Tribune). African Americans accounted for nearly 37% of the senior leadership positions in city government under Mayor Jim Kenney.
  • I wanted a Tesla. Then I found out the company doesn’t hire enough Black people (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • The Bankruptcy Code Is Stacked Against Black Families. Elizabeth Warren’s New Bill Would Change That (Forbes)
  • Six policies to address social problems affecting Black boys and men (Brookings) – If you’re playing along at home, see if you can name the six solutions.  Times up. Education, Employment, Criminal Justice Reform, Segregation, Mentoring and Reparations
  • Persistent residential segregation is sustaining racial and economic injustice in the U.S (Brookings) – Part of a larger series examining the fundamental economic issue in the US: Real Estate. Everything important is tied to Real Estate: jobs, education, race relations and wealth. Part of “The Great Real Estate Reset” from Brookings.
  • Economist Lisa D Cook: Pandemic’s pain deepens wealth gap (Detroit Free-Press) – Nice piece on Lisa D Cook from Spelman

Stories

Protest / Social Justice

  • Community Talks Race Issues (Wilmington Biz) — Genesis Block launched this year to create programs to help minority- and women-owned business­es, including a searchable directory of Black-owned businesses in the region. 
  • ‘The most lopsided economic event imaginable’: Wave of evictions threatens Black, Latino tenants (Politico)

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

  • Americans could get $600 direct payments, $300-a-week federal unemployment in next stimulus (Philadelphia Inquirer) — Congress’ first round of PPP loans largely excluded minority- and women-owned companies.

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig Economy

  • GM First Automaker to Join OneTen Coalition (The News Wheel) – The goal is to provide one million jobs to Black people by 2030.

Inequality / Systemic Racism / Economic Justice

Black Business

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • 2 Chainz Is Donating To Black Entrepreneurs In New Series (BET). The ‘Money Maker Fund’ will be hosted for HBCU students and graduates
  • Serena Williams calls on Silicon Valley investors to back more Black women entrepreneurs (The Business Journals)
  • Official Black Wall Street Founder on the future of black entrepreneurship (Yahoo Finance)
  • Founder & CEO Of Official Black Wall Street Mandy Bowman Wants Everyone To Understand The Power Of The Black Dollar (Essence)
  • Up Against Wall Street Bond Giants, Minority Firms Want More (Bloomberg)
  • Black, Latina Women Confident About Financial Goals (Think Advisor)
  • $1M donation hopes to bring some relief to struggling Black, brown owned restaurants, workers (ABC 7 Chicago)
  • New Tattered Cover owners defend claims of Black ownership amid national outcry (The Know) – Owners of Denver’s Tattered Cover book stores have watched as reactions to owners claim that it is the  nation’s largest Black-owned book store.
  • Meet 30 Black Owned Businesses You Can Support In 2021 (Forbes) — One of the most impactful ways to positively impact Black communities is through supporting businesses founded by black founders who can then positively impact their communities.
  • Fueling a diverse supply chain in the Twin Cities: An executive discussion (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal) — As we look to drive an inclusive economic recovery in the Twin Cities in a post-Covid world, the link between corporations and minority-owned businesses needs to continue to strengthen.
  • Building a more equitable region for minority-owned businesses: An executive discussion (Puget Sound Business Journal) — In addition to not having the same access to capital, BIPOC business owners generally don’t have that social capital that facilitates business relationships
  • Some Black-Owned Businesses Thrive Despite Pandemic (Spectrum News 1) — A number of Columbus Black-owned businesses that are a part of a Facebook group, have seen their customers triple
  • From near bankruptcy to boom: Walnut Hills restaurant rebounds amid pandemic (Cincinnati Business Courier) – Encouragement from landlord and smart business moves helped restaurant stay afloat.
  • Green Book of Tampa Bay founders share more than 100 local Black-owned businesses you can support right now (CL Tampa Bay) —
  • Jasper Kuria (425 Business) — Eastside businessman has idea to help Black-owned businesses that involves white CEOs pledging to lead by example, and help level the playing field.
  • Local black-owned businesses surprise kids, families hit hardest by COVID-19 (CW 39) — Local black-owned businesses recently teamed up with schools from the Acres Homes area to surprise those hit hardest by the pandemic with Christmas presents.
  • Local businesses look for boost from city’s Black Business Fridays (Chestnut Hill Local) — The 2020 holiday season is an opportunity for residents and visitors to strengthen Philadelphia communities by shopping with Black- and Brown-owned businesses
  • Louisville asking for public input on proposed incubator for minority-owned businesses (WDRB) — Lack of access to capital and overall support prevent Minority-owned businesses from enjoying the same economic benefits and financial stability as other businesses.
  • Voya offers fee break for minority-owned firms (Pensions & Investments) — Voya Financial is giving minority-owned businesses a break on retirement plan fees given the heavier financial toll these businesses have endured from COVID-19.
  • ‘200 years behind’: Racial wealth gap impedes Black business ownership in Louisville (Courier Journal) — As a Black business owner in Louisville, Thurston is among a small group — one that has dwindled over the years.
  • EY launches business accelerator for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in Atlanta, U.S. (Atlanta Business Chronicles) — Minority entrepreneurs receive so little support … but closing this gap requires more than capital alone
  • BIPOC Renton small businesses owners may now apply for support from Comcast RISE (Renton Reporter) — Comcast RISE will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years by offering grants, marketing and technology upgrades.
  • Black Owned Businesses Tour of Downtown Macon (41 NBC) — Newtown Macon and several downtown businesses partner to bring a Black-Owned Businesses Tour to residents.
  • New website launches to help Louisville residents shop locally (Louisville Business First) — The site will also offer curated collections, like locally crafted, $25 gifts and Black-owned businesses, as well as a way to shop by neighborhood.

Black Business Specific

  • Darien man launches Black-owned ‘legacy’ cereal brand (Darien Times)
  • Denver’s Tattered Cover Becomes Nation’s Largest Black-Owned Indie Bookstore (NPR).
  • Charlotte black-owned business finds success with fun family card games (NSJ) – Sales and searches for card games spike due to pandemic.
  • Black Game Creators: Changing the Gaming Scene for the Better (Black Girl Nerds)
  • Black-owned fudge shop thrives in heart of pandemic (ABC 8) — A new fudge business is thriving in the midst of a pandemic. The owners are a Black father and daughter duo who make sweets during these tough times.
  • Local businesses look for boost from city’s Black Business Fridays (Chestnut Hill Local) – Plus link to local Black Owned Businesses here. Chestnut Hill Black Owned Businesses

Big Business / Corporate

  • “I wanted a Tesla”. Then I found out the company doesn’t hire enough Black people (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Netflix donates $25M to help end housing discrimination (Reality Biz News). Netflix partners with the non-profit Enterprise Community Partners on this initiative. 
  • PayPal Announces Additional $5 Million Grant Program for Black-Owned Businesses as COVID-19 Crisis Continues (PR Newswire) — rants extend PayPal’s $530 million commitment made to support and empower Black-owned businesses, strengthen minority communities and fight economic inequality
  • Brands need to speak out in support of the Black community (Martech Today) – Some brands do not have enough courage to say something that could really move the needle, says Ekechukwu.
  • National Black Chamber of Commerce announces Amazon Business partnership (Chicago Crusader) — The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) is partnering with Amazon Business to help Black-owned businesses achieve their business goals, by supporting and highlighting Suppliers or Sellers in the Amazon Business store.
  • LISC’s Black Economic Development Fund reaches $175 million with $50 million investment from PayPal, $12.5 million from HubSpot (PR Newswire)
  • Exclusive: The Visa Foundation Commits $4.8 Million To Women- And Black-Owned Small Business Initiatives, Including Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition (Forbes) —
  • Ernst & Young launches Twin Cities minority-business support program (Star Tribune) — Ernst & Young, the accounting and consulting firm, will support 12 small Black- and Latino-owned businesses in the Twin Cities as part of a multicity business accelerator program it calls the Entrepreneurs Access Network, or EAN.
  • Google to coach Black, Latinx small businesses in New Orleans (New Orleans City Business)

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • More US churches are committing to racism-linked reparations (Associated Press)
  • County Board passes Juneteenth ordinance — ‘first step in the healing process’ for Black Americans (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Nina Ahmad, Brittany Alston, Michael Coard, and Congressman Dwight Evans discuss reparations (Chestnut Hill Local)
  • Black entrepreneurs lack opportunity, not skills. Other businesses hold the power to change that (The Globe and Mail)
  • Supplier diversity needs to focus on industries of today and tomorrow (Chicago Business) — Black companies became pigeonholed in low-margin endeavors such as janitorial, landscaping, delivery and construction.
  • B-to-b diversity can help us achieve racial equity and economic justice (Chicago Business)

Economics

Black Economics

  • Economist Lisa D Cook: Pandemic’s pain deepens wealth gap (Detroit Free-Press) – Nice piece on Lisa D Cook from Spelman
  • Economists are rediscovering a lost heroine: Sadie Alexander (Economist)
  • Nixon and Black capitalism (Chicago Business)
  • I’m a Black woman writing about money and race. Here’s what I see. (Washington Post) – Column aims to address in a very personal way some commonly held misconceptions about Black people.
  • Jacksonville Native Inspires Facebooks #BuyBlack Friday Program: Sheryl Sandberg (Jacksonville) – Rachael Hawk came up with the Facebook campaign to support the Black community in response to the feelings of dismay and grief many of us felt during the incidents of racial injustice last summer.
  • Despite Pandemic, Baker’s Cabinet Agencies Boosted Spending With Minority Businesses (GBH) — Executive branch agencies in Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration boosted their spending with minority-owned businesses by nearly $20 million in fiscal year 2020

Straight up Econ / The Economy

  • Race and Financial Security Play Central Roles in Student Loan Repayment (Pew Charitable Trusts)
  • The Bankruptcy Code Is Stacked Against Black Families. Elizabeth Warren’s New Bill Would Change That (Forbes)
  • How the Economy Is Actually Doing, in 9 Charts (New York Times)
  • 12 charts show the wild ride US employment took in 2020 — and just how far we still have to go to recover (Business Insider)
  • Press release of Janet Yellen and Wally Adeyemo’s Meeting with Racial and Economic Justice Organization Leaders (Biden Harris Transition) – No details but the list is impressive.  All the names to know in progressive economics.

Industry Stories

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • Packers, Brewers, Bucks aim to help Black, Latino startup businesses (Wisconsin State Journal) — Wisconsin’s three major-league professional sports franchises are banding together to help Black- and Latino-owned startups secure investment money and other resources.
  • Basketball is back, but the Hawks are still going beyond posting a black square (Peach Tree Hoops) — $35 million loan was the first time a group of Black banks has partnered with a professional sports franchise.
  • Baltimore Ravens player Calais Campbell, Rockefeller Foundation support Black biz fund (Yahoo News) — Rockefeller Foundation has pledged $75,000 to support the program alongside Campbell, who will be donating $125,000

Marketing / Advertising / Sales / Consumer Behavior

  • Black And Up In Arms (NPR). This is a podcast episode from Code Switch that talks about what it means to be a Black gun owner.
  • Could Gen Z Consumer Behavior Make Capitalism More Ethical? (Harvard Business Review) — Large companies like Netflix and Twitter have begun moving cash to Black-owned banks as a sign of support for racial equity.

Alcohol / Marijuana / CBD

  • Virginia lawmakers focus on racial equity as they debate marijuana legalization (Virginia Mercury) — As lawmakers prepare to take up proposals to legalize recreational marijuana, questions about how to address past racial inequities and prevent new ones from cropping up in a legalized marketplace have figured prominently in early discussions.

Beauty / Fashion / Retail

Technology / Apps / Innovation

  • Google offers Nola Black and Latino business owners free online training (NOLA)
  • Pinterest’s $22.5 million gender discrimination settlement is another example of how Black women are ignored, say senior women of color in the tech industry (Business Insider) — Both Pinterest and Brougher agreed that a further $2.5 million would go to programs supporting women and underrepresented communities in tech.

Finance / Investing / Banking / Venture Capital

  • $5M Wells Fargo grant will provide capital to Black entrepreneurs in St. Louis (The Business Journals)
  • Yelp Deposits $10 Million of Cash Reserves with Black-Owned Financial Institutions to Support Underserved Communities (Business Wire)
  • Packers, Bucks, Brewers to team with Microsoft on fund to invest in minority-owned businesses (The Business Journals)
  • Baltimore to receive $1M from Rockefeller Foundation to fund capital access, economic empowerment (The Business Journals)
  • Rockefeller Foundation donates nearly half million to Black businesses in Florida (Miami Herald)
  • To back diverse entrepreneurs, keep these 6 things in mind (MIT Sloan) — Expanding access to capital for women and entrepreneurs of color requires deliberate and concrete action, not optics.
  • Unequal Access To Banking And Loans Works Against Black Business Owners (Iowa Public Radio) – Nice story about a father & daughter construction company in Des Moines, IA.
  • Commercial lending push at Black-owned banks gets results (American Banker) — After decades of operating on the periphery of financial services, Black-owned banks are beginning to find seats at the tables where corporate transactions are brokered.

Real Estate / Finance / Development / Housing / Segregation

  • Persistent residential segregation is sustaining racial and economic injustice in the U.S (Brookings) – Part of a larger series examining the fundamental economic issue in the US: Real Estate. Everything important is tied to Real Estate: jobs, education, race relations and wealth. Part of “The Great Real Estate Reset” from Brookings.

Construction / Jobs / Discrimination

Cities / Urban Planning / Local Government

  • Blacks fail to make inroads into high-paying, senior-level city jobs under Kenney (Philadelphia Tribune). African Americans accounted for nearly 37% of the senior leadership positions in city government under Mayor Jim Kenney.

Politics / Government / State and Local

  • Ken Ebie’s focused mission for New York City Black entrepreneurs (Amsterdam News) – He is the first executive director and chief development officer of Black Entrepreneurs NYC.

Taxes / Tax Policy

  • Racial gap in homeownership (Axios)
  • The rental housing market’s “Black Tax” (Axios)

Law / Legal / Non-profits / Philanthropy / Non-Profit

  • Fund for Black Oregonians put on hold during litigation (Portland Business Journal) — A $62 million fund for Black Oregonians will stop providing grants to residents and businesses during pending litigation and deposit its remaining $8.8 million with a federal court.
  • Attorney Zulu Ali, Founder of the Largest Black-owned Law Firm in California’s Inland Empire, Has Been Renamed Top Lawyer by the National Black Lawyers Top 100 (PR Newswire)
  • Remaking the Economy: COVID-19, Recovery, and the Black Community (Non-Profit Quarterly)
  • MacKenzie (Bezos) Scott
  • MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos ex-wife,  Announces $4.2 Billion More in Charitable Giving (The New York Times). Overarching story to the ones below.
  • Lincoln University receives $20 million gift as part of $4 billion giveaway by ex-wife of Amazon founder (The Philadelphia Inquirer). MacKenzie Scott gives Craft3 $10M (The Business Journals)
  • Prairie View A&M University gets $50M from MacKenzie Scott, largest in its history (Houston Chronicle)
  • UMES receives $20 million award, the largest single gift in its history, from MacKenzie Scott (Delmarva Daily Times)
  • MacKenzie Scott gives $30 million of Amazon wealth to two Philly institutions that serve low-income communities (Philadelphia Inquirer). MacKenzie Scott gifts a financial lifeline for HBCUs | COMMENTARY (Baltimore Sun)

Strategy / Management

  • Harvard Business School and the Executive Leadership Council Team Up to Build Pipeline of Black Executives (Harvard Business School)

Education / Healthcare

  • Preservation Delaware initiative documenting oral histories of African American schools (Dover Post). This initiative is a part of the Brown v. Board of Education project.

Farming / Agriculture

Science / Math / Statistics / STEM / Tech

  • How to Build an Inclusive Digital Economy, and Why We Must (Entrepreneur)

People and Careers

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • Brian Lee, the business executive on a mission to create one million Black millionaires (Face2Face Africa)
  • Meet Vernon Coleman, one of the youngest Black entrepreneurs in tech, who just raised a seed round topping $4 million that included Alexis Ohanian (Business Insider)
  • Pharrell Williams on His Nonprofit Black Ambition and the Importance of Artists’ Rights in the Music Industry (Variety) – Pharrell says underrepresentation of Blacks  in our nation and the world is due to not having enough ownership.
  • How This Founder Turned Her Blog Into a Lifestyle Brand With $5 Million in Sales (Inc) — Nicole Brown took her passion project and turned it into one of the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. by cultivating a space for Black women to celebrate themselves.
  • Serena Williams: Silicon Valley is wrong about Black women entrepreneurs (Philadelphia Tribune) — Black female founders exist at the intersection of many challenges, making it exponentially more difficult for them to get the funding they need.
  • Program focused on African American leaders gets $1 million grant (The Business Journals)

All Other

Caribbean / Africa / International

  • Black entrepreneurs lack opportunity, not skills. Other businesses hold the power to change that (Globe & Mail)
  • Ontario Investing in New Opportunities for Black Youth (Government of Ontario)
  • Black employees earn 20% less at Britain’s biggest bank. It’s trying to fix that (Philadelphia Tribune) — Lloyds Bank has become the first UK lender to disclose the pay gap of its Black employees, shining a light on the dearth of Black people in senior positions

Travel / History

  • Let Us Put Our Money Together: The Founding of America’s First Black Banks (Kansas City Fed) – You can download the book for free here.

Opinion

  • Passing New Jersey’s bill to legalize cannabis is a historic step toward racial equity (NJ.com)
  • It’s payback time for our support; Biden should nominate a Black U.S. attorney for South Florida (Miami Herald)

Other

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