Black Business and Economic Stories for December 21 to 27th 2020

Top Stories

  • Guaranteed Income Is Coming To New Orleans, Here’s What It Could Look Like (WWNO). New Orleans is one of nine U.S. cities expected to launch or expand guaranteed income in 2021 in partnership with Mayors For A Guaranteed Income (MGI).
  • This new subscription service is helping people find and support local Black-owned restaurants (CNN). Brava is the subscription service that provides its users with digital gift cards to different Black owned restaurants.
  • Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of OWN Stake to Discovery for $36 Million (Bloomberg)
  • Black Men Have the Shortest Lifespans of Any Americans. This Theory Helps Explain Why. (ProPublica). Stress is a big contributing factor to this.
  • Former NBA player Junior Bridgeman to buy bankrupt Ebony for $14 million (Chicago Tribune)
  • The reluctance of Canadian businesses to collect race-based data needs to end (Globe and Mail) — Not asking for race, gender and ethnicity data while trying to stop bias and systemic racism is like not testing for COVID-19 and tracing contacts while trying to stop the spread of the virus. Canada is unwilling to face racial discrimination. In fact they scared of even collecting the data. Just like the US.
  • Former NBA player Junior Bridgeman to buy bankrupt Ebony for $14 million (Chicago Tribune)

Protest / Social Justice

  • Black Lives Matter vs. Loblaws (Corporate Knights) — Sitting on the fence has itself become a risky option in an age when companies’ performances are increasingly judged by more than quarterly earnings.

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

  • Non-profit Black San Diego gives thousands to families in need during pandemic (10 News) — Non-profit Black San Diego started up in September with the goal of bolstering Black-owned businesses and giving them tools to succeed.
  • Analysis shows Black and Hispanic businesses lagged in access to PPP loans (Portland Business Journal)

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig Economy

  • Shake Shack offering up to $400 holiday bonus to hourly workers (Market Watch)
  • Guaranteed Income Is Coming To New Orleans, Here’s What It Could Look Like (WWNO). New Orleans is one of nine U.S. cities expected to launch or expand guaranteed income in 2021 in partnership with Mayors For A Guaranteed Income (MGI).
  • New Signs of Economic Distress Emerge as Trump Imperils Aid Deal (New York Times). Person income falls, consumer spending decreases, and unemployment continues to rise.
  • The federal eviction moratorium expires in January. It could leave 40 million Americans homeless. (USA Today)
  • How Black Parents Survived 2020 (New York Times)
  • Deadliest jobs in America statistics reveal racial disparities (Detroit News) – Workplace deaths are increasing much faster for African American, Latinx and Asian American workers.
  • Black Workers in Baltimore Hit Hard by the Pandemic (Fox 5 News) — According to the report “The State of Black Workers in Baltimore,” Blacks make up 56.5% of the overall workforce in Baltimore but a disproportionate amount of the low-wage workforce, 67.3%.

Inequality / Systemic Racism / Economic Justice

  • ‘There was no hospitality.’ Black couple claims they were wrongfully denied entry to Trump hotel. (Washington Business Journal) — Curtis “Trey” Carswell and his girlfriend, Markita Gibson, were out on an evening walk in September in downtown D.C. when they came across the Trump International Hotel — and wanted to see the inside for the first time
  • How Reimagining Employment Practices Can Advance Racial Justice (Forbes) — Black Americans face a long history of disconnection from the mainstream economy and workforce, and the disparities in education and employment are stark.
  • How Racism Ruined Black Santa Monica (LAist) — Many Black-owned small businesses suffered since most white people wouldn’t patronize them, according to Jefferson.

Black Business

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • Has 2020’s spike in support for Black-owned business carried through to the holidays? (Marketplace)
  • Access to grants, ability to transition online makes all the difference for Black-owned businesses (CBC)
  • Black People Eats’ Jeremy Joyce Is Highlighting Chicago’s Black-Owned Restaurants (Travel Noire) — Jeremy Joyce founded Black People Eats in 2017.
  • North Omaha development moves by Gov. Ricketts draw welcome, plus suggestions (Omaha World-Herald) — The State of Nebraska plans to open an Department of Economic Development field office in North Omaha, at 5319 N. 30th St., and is making changes in state procurement and contracting in hopes of increasing its business with minority and small businesses.
  • How an L.A. indie bookstore’s GoFundMe inspired a small business lifeline (Los Angeles Times) – In partnership with Pacific Community Ventures and TMC Community Capital, the owners of skin-care company Dermalogica decided to launch Found/L.A. Small Business Recovery Fund, a $1-million grant program to help small minority-owned businesses in Los Angeles County stay open during the pandemic.
  • Small company puzzles out delivery logistics with sudden demand (Marketplace) — The idea for puzzle company grew out of Matthew’s personal experiences as a Black parent shopping for his young children.
  • These were Delaware’s 10 most-read tech and business stories of 2020 (Technically) — Unemployment, WFH burnout and Black-owned businesses were among the big topics Technical.ly Delaware readers cared about this year.
  • Comcast RISE lifts Black-owned businesses (Miami Times) — A reboot of Comcast Corporation’s RISE program. Black businesses in Twin Cities get a boost from Comcast RISE program (Twin Cities) —
  • Retail Business Services joins, donates to minority supplier council (Store Brands) — Retail Business Services is donating $100,000 to the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Business Consortium Fund and will become a member of the organization.
  • How A San Jose Firm Is Opening Doors For Minority-Owned Businesses (Patch) – A San Jose Firm is looking for new ways to embrace the community and tear down barriers.
  • Self-care, motivation and networking at the St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo (Weekly Challenger) — “Empower,” “invest,” “network” were the themes on display during the St. Pete Fall Black Business Expo, held last month at Lake Vista Recreation Center.
  • Comedian X Mayo On The Importance Of Supporting Black Businesses (Forbes) — By Black is an incredible series that highlights Black entrepreneurship while educating viewers on the barriers these specific brands and products have had to overcome.
  • Giant Food Introduces Shelf Labels to Spotlight Products Owned by Minority Businesses (Prince William Living) — Giant Food is helping customers identify products owned by minority based businesses through updated shelf labels.
  • Six Black, women-owned businesses to support (that will take your fashion game to the next level!) (NBC News) — Wardrobe stylist and founder of Blueprint for Style, Monica Barnett, gives Know Your Value her top picks.
  • Jessica Winnie showcases Black products with MN Black Box (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Black Business Specific

  • This new subscription service is helping people find and support local Black-owned restaurants (CNN). Brava is the subscription service that provides its users with digital gift cards to different Black owned restaurants.
  • Black and Mobile, delivery app for Black-owned restaurants ramps back up in Detroit (Detroit Free Press)
  • Louisville’s first Black-owned distillery to open in West End (Louisville Business First) — Trio founded the bourbon brand out of a desire to produce quality bourbon whiskey in an industry that has thus far remained largely inaccessible to minority entrepreneurs
  • Connecticut Man Creates Proud Puffs – A Black-owned Cereal Brand (Because of Them We Can) — Connecticut father used social media to crowdfund the production of the Proud Puff cereal.

Big Business / Corporate

  • Giant Food to spotlight women- and minority-owned brands with new labels (Grocery Dive)
  • Only 3% of the brands in Sephora are Black-owned—Here’s how the retailer is changing that (Fast Company)
  • How Pepsi Plans to Help Black-Owned Restaurants Generate $100 Million in Sales (Adweek) – Yikes, this can’t be healthy?
  • Companies Have Promised $35 Billion Toward Racial Equity. Where Is the Money Going? (Wall Street Journal) — Corporations say they are using their financial might to narrow racial wealth and opportunity gap; tracking those efforts can be tough.
  • American Express Donating $2.5 Million to Black-Owned Business (Hypehair) — With the economic crash due to Covid-19, many small businesses have been suffering, and black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard
  • PayPal (PYPL) Pledges Additional $5M to Support Racial Equity (Nasdaq) — In line with PayPal Holdings, Inc.’s PYPL stance against racial discrimination, the company further announced an extra $5 million in grants in a bid to support black and minority-owned businesses.

Discrimination

  • McDonald’s class-action lawsuit grows to nearly 80 plaintiffs (Chicago Crusader)
  • Black Tech Entrepreneur Fights to Empower Minorities after Facing Discrimination (Black Star News) — Joseph Heller, wants to help Black business compete with major retailers.

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • A Black woman called somebody racist. She’s now fighting a defamation suit headed to the Nevada Supreme Court. (This is Reno)
  • How Inclusion Helps Companies Succeed (Wharton)
  • Companies promise more diversity after George Floyd, but will change happen this time? (Columbia Dispatch)
  • The history of Black dolls and why it was once so hard to find (WMC) — Americans spent over 3 billion dollars on dolls last year according to the Toy Association. However, for years, Black dolls were very hard to come by in stores.
  • Invisible Chapters: Writing The Black Community Into The Stories Of Libraries, Bookstores And Publishing (KJZZ)
  • Making amends for a massacre nearly 100 years ago may be a model for reparations (Washington Post) — As each new year approaches, Ebony Pickett looks back to the dark history of the massacre that began in the little-known majority-Black enclave in Rosewood, Fla., on Jan. 1, 1923.
  • Aurora James Is Helping Companies Invest In Accountability With The ‘15 Percent Pledge’ (Forbes) — The 15 Percent Pledge urges major retailers to commit at least 15% of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses, offering consulting services to help these corporations reach that goal.
  • 5 ways businesses can embrace diversity, equity and inclusion (Albuquerque Business Journal) — In a year of personal and professional hardship, businesses have been confronted with an urgent need to evolve and adapt to an ever-changing environment.
  • 7 ways to make year-end charitable donations supporting racial equity. ‘If there was ever a time to give generously, it’s now’ (Market Watch) — As Americans make their year-end charitable contributions, many are likely reflecting on the suffering the country has witnessed in 2020.

Economics

Black Economics

  • Personal Finance Columnist Michelle Singletary Examines Race, Wealth Gap For Black Americans (WBUR)
  • How Business Can Boost Human Rights In 2021 (Forbes) – 2020 was a year headlined by a global health crisis, profound economic distress, and high-profile examples of racial inequality.
  • 2020 In Review: The Story Behind ‘The Color Of Public Money’ (WGBH) – Reporting shows minority firms not getting government contracts.
  • Black leaders urge action to match Janet Yellen’s words on race (Financial Times) – Yellen was unusually frank for a Treasury Secretary about considering race when fixing economic problems.
  • Minnesota can do better on Black economic inclusion (Star Tribune)

Straight up Econ / The Economy

  • U.S. consumer confidence stumbles as Covid saps economic momentum (CNBC)
  • Borrowing hits record high as talk of “double-dip” recession grows (Evening Standard)

Co-Ops / Employee Owned / Cooperative Economics (UJamaa)

  • In the time of COVID-19, Kwanzaa goes virtual (Chicago Sun Times) – Kwanzaa event, that usually focuses on Black businesses and artisans offering handcrafted items, is now virtual this year.
  • Kwanzaa celebrates African-American heritage. Here’s how it came to be—and what it means today. (National Geographic)
  • History of Kwanzaa (LA Progressive)
  • Savannah holding first Kwanzaa Krawl (WTOC 11)

Industry Stories

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • ‘Soul’ Features Pixar’s First Black Lead Character. Here’s How It Happened. (New York Times)
  • Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of OWN Stake to Discovery for $36 Million (Bloomberg)
  • Ravens Star Calais Campbell Donates $125K for Baltimore Black Businesses (Baltimore Times) — Baltimore Ravens star Defensive End and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, Calais Campbell has teamed with The Rockefeller Foundation to help struggling Black businesses in Maryland survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DC United’s new head of business operations will be first Black president of an MLS team (Washington Post) – DC United appoint Danita Johnson as head of business operations.
  • Chicago Bulls and BMO Harris Bank Team Up to Support Local Black Owned Businesses (Bulls.com) — As a continuation of the team’s social justice efforts, the Chicago Bulls and BMO Harris Bank have partnered to launch a program supporting Chicago Black owned businesses.
  • NBA star Moe Harkless donates rent money to 50 NYC families (The Grio)
  • Jrue Holiday Donates His Salary To Black-Owned Businesses (Def Pen)
  • Former NBA player Junior Bridgeman to buy bankrupt Ebony for $14 million (Chicago Tribune)

Marketing / Advertising / Sales / Consumer Behavior

  • Black Diamond Caters to Growing Population of Black Gun Owners (Queen City Nerve). 58.2% of Black men and women bought more guns in the first six months of 2020 than in previous years.

Alcohol / Marijuana / CBD

  • What a Decade as an African American in the Cannabis Business Has Taught Me (Green Entrepreneur) – Wanda James, CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary, stands on top of a successful, vertically-integrated, socially-conscious cannabis company.

Real Estate / Finance / Development / Housing / Segregation

  • US existing home sales drop for the first time in 6 months amid rising prices and record-low supply (Business Insider). General story but interesting data.
  • Mortgage rates slide to historic lows for third time this month (Washington Post)
  • Proposed fund would help Black, Indigenous and people of color buy property (VT Digger)

Construction / Jobs / Discrimination / Architecture / Design

  • The Hampton House Motel: The Real History of the Hotel Where Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown Famously Converged (Architectural Digest)

Politics / Government / State and Local

  • Aurora mayor tapped to lead state’s new commission to improve the lives of black males (Daily Herald)
  • Black votes should be represented in Congressional staff member (Daytona Times)

Education / Healthcare

  • ‘Already Behind’: Diversifying The Legal Profession Starts Before The LSAT (NPR). While African Americans make up 13.4% of the U.S. population, they make up only 5% of all lawyers.
  • Black Men Have the Shortest Lifespans of Any Americans. This Theory Helps Explain Why. (ProPublica). Stress is a big contributing factor to this.
  • Some good colleges still keep tuition low. Give their students higher Pell Grants. (Washington Post)
  • Stimulus bill a boon to historically Black colleges and universities, with $22 million in debt forgiveness for Philander Smith (Arkansas Times)
  • Canceling student debt would narrow the racial wealth gap and stimulate our economy (Sun Sentinel
  • Canceling all student debt makes great economic sense for America — here’s why (Business Insider)

Farming / Agriculture

  • ‘We wanted to work the land with our kids’: the Black US farmers reclaiming the soil (Guardian) – An effort to address lack of Black farmers and lack of fresh food in Black communities.

Rehab / Re-entry / Corrections / Police

  • Tom Gores’s Prison Investment Drags NBA Into Controversy (Bloomberg) – Phone calls in jail and prison are unfairly expensive. Gores own Securus Technology which provides phone services.

People and Careers

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • Don Charlton has raised millions from VCs. He shares his best tips for Black founders on how to overcome investing bias and succeed in Silicon Valley. (Business Insider)
  • COVID-19: Beyoncé donates $500,000 to people facing eviction due to housing crisis (Sky News)
  • Interview With Kristal Hansley: The First 90 Days As The First Black Female CEO In Solar Energy (Her Agenda) — The internet went into a frenzy after hearing about, Kristal Hansley, the first Black female CEO in the solar energy arena.
  • Black-Owned Brands Whose Businesses Skyrocketed Amid COVID-19 (Afrotech) — Some businesses managed to prevail in the midst of the global health crisis, even more so exceeding expectations no one could’ve imagined.
  • Web Capital Helps Businesses Achieve Success Even During the Pandemic (Menafn) — Berry Moise is the owner and CEO of Web Capital , a Black-owned digital marketing company that’s helping business owners transition their enterprises online and remain viable.
  • Google tapped this 29-year-old producer to create its Year in Search song and he brought together over 80 Black artists, engineers, producers, and managers (Business Insider) – Music Producer Peter CottonTale highlights the struggle of Black Americans after being tapped by Google.
  • Madison entrepreneur featured in national ad campaign (Madison Magazine) — Syovata Edari, founder and owner of CocoVaa Chocolatier, is featured in a national advertising campaign and initiative encouraging support of Black-owned businesses this holiday season.
  • Rap start 21 Savage worked with Black website BlackStanta.Com, to sell Christmas Hoodie Benefiting his own Leading By Example Foundation (Respect Magazine)

All Other

Caribbean / Africa / International

  • China to leapfrog U.S. as world’s biggest economy by 2028, report says (The Japan Times) — Important
  • The reluctance of Canadian businesses to collect race-based data needs to end (Globe and Mail) –
  • The reluctance of Canadian businesses to collect race-based data needs to end (Globe and Mail) — Not asking for race, gender and ethnicity data while trying to stop bias and systemic racism is like not testing for COVID-19 and tracing contacts while trying to stop the spread of the virus. Canada is unwilling to face racial discrimination. In fact, they scared of even collecting the data. Just like the US.
  • Pandemic Squeezes South Africa’s Already Tight Middle Class (Voice of America News)

Travel / History

  • Afro-Latinos in Latin America, Caribbean is the focus of this travel show (NBC News)

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