Black Business and Economic Stories for Jan.4th to 10th 2021

Top Stories

  • Rep. Jackson Lee proposes commission to explore reparations for Black Americans (The Grio)
  • The Boston Red Sox just hired Bianca Smith — the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball history (CNN)
  • Mortality rate for Black babies is cut dramatically when they’re delivered by Black doctors, researchers say (Washington Post) — You can expand this idea to just about everything: Dentists, Lawyers, Teachers and Businessmen in a positive way.
  • Who’s Employed in the Early Months of the COVID-19 Recession? An Analysis by Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank) – Black male employment in the region dropped from 63% to 42% between May and October. Look at the charts, it’s insane.
  • Fed’s 2015 Records Show Yellen Misjudged Room for Job Gains (Bloomberg) – So millions more Black people could have had jobs?  The fed seems to be missing the huge under employment problem.  There is NO wage inflation.
  • An insider’s view on African American art collecting (Coastal Point)
  • Yes, Reebok Is Ready for Black Ownership — But It Will Need More Than That to Be Successful (Footwearnews)
  • Op-ed: I broke barriers as Black woman in tech without a degree. Hire more workers like me (CNBC)
  • 7 months after George Floyd’s death, corporations are still ‘diversity washing’ instead of making actual changes (Business Insider)
  • His parents weren’t homeowners, so this Minnesotan has dedicated his life to Black homeownership (Star Tribune) — Throughout his 25-year lending career, Trent Bowman has specialized in first-time home buyers and programs.

Stories

Protest / Social Justice

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

  • Here’s What The New Round Of PPP Loans Means For Black-Owned Businesses (Forbes)
  • 3 ways to access the $117 billion in stimulus funding for minority businesses and those with 10 or fewer employees (Business Insider)
  • Small-Business Loan Program Will Restart Monday, but Not for All (New York Times) — Black- and minority-owned small businesses will have a head start in tapping Paycheck Protection Program funds when the program reopens next week
  • Analysis of Paycheck Protection Program shows Black, brown businesses were at back of the line for COVID-19 relief (newsradio KYW) — Black and brown businesses were at the back of the line when it came to disbursement of COVID-19 relief funds, according to recent analysis of federal data.
  • Expert fear huge wave of evictions (New Jersey Monthlyn)

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig Economy

  • Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs shed by the U.S. economy in December (Fortune)
  • U.S. women, workers of color bear brunt of December job losses (Crain’s) — The U.S. labor market lost jobs in December for the first time in eight months, while women and workers of color
  • The US lost 140,000 jobs in December. All of those jobs were held by women. (Business Insider)
  • Black and Hispanic workers feeling brunt of pandemic recession according to Philly Fed (WHYY)
  • Who’s Employed in the Early Months of the COVID-19 Recession? An Analysis by Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank) – Black male employment in the region dropped from 63% to 42% between may and October. Insane.

Inequality / Systemic Racism / Economic Justice

  • Resources abound to help entrepreneurs of color overcome generations of obstacles (Buffalo Business First) — What’s holding back businesses of color from growing in the Buffalo region? Area resources abound, but potential business owners must overcome generations of obstacles.
  • Investors still engage in racist redlining. Why haven’t we done something about it? (Fortune) — Mariah Lichtenstern describes her experience working in the tech startup world.
  • Philly produce market fights to serve the community while facing hardship (6abc) — The African American Chamber of Commerce says 75% of Black-owned businesses were forced to shutdown for months, and many – like West Phillie Produce – are having difficulty with government assistance because of the application process or meeting qualifications

Black Business

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • Crowdfunding helps save Black women-owned Philadelphia cafe amid COVID struggles (Good Morning America) — Thanks to community support, a one-of-a-kind cafe that has offered connection and positivity amid the pandemic will survive to open it’s doors another day
  • The Pivotal Paradigm Project emerges from chaos of 2020 with growth plans ahead (Buffalo Business First) — Jasmine Fluker’s business found a ready source of demand this year, and employers sought to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their workforce policies.
  • Organize Your New Year Routine With a Minimalist Planner From This Black owned business (225 Magazine) — Alter Planning Co. (Read More Here)
  • Applications Open For Genesis Block’s Small Business Accelerator (Wilmington Biz) — Small, minority and women-owned businesses can apply by Friday for the opportunity to be chosen to participate in the 16-week, Back on the Block Minority Accelerator program.

Black Business Specific

  • Siblings launch jigsaw puzzle business focused on Black representation (CBS News)
  • Meet The Black Men Who Launched Tulum’s Most In Demand Yacht Charter Service (Essence)
  • Allergy-friendly cookie company Partake Foods gets $4.8M to fuel expansion (Food Dive) — Newest round of investors includes both prominent Black funders and celebrities, but also big names in natural and organic food.
  • Black Farmers Rewrite the Narrative Around Picking Cotton (Spectrum News) – Tillery and other Black farmers around the state work to educate and uplift rural minority communities and recontextualize southern crops and their painful history.
  • How Sylvia’s, Harlem’s iconic soul food restaurant, is fighting for its community (CBS News) – Told by Tren’ness Woods-Black, one of the founder’s 18 grandchildren and the restaurant’s vice president of communications and strategic partnership.
  • KC woman to launch magazine to help Black-owned businesses (KSHB) — Kansas City, Missouri, entrepreneur Patricia Mitchell is launching a magazine called All Black Everything to help struggling Black businesses and be a community voice for the Black Lives Matter Movement, the arts, entertainment and health.
  • Black Owned Food Markets in New Orleans: An Alternative to Breaux Mart and Rouses (Big Easy Magazine)

Big Business / Corporate

  • Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl, other Charlotte leaders launch investment firm for minority-owned businesses (The Business Journals)
  • PepsiCo launches Dig In initiative, hopes to bring $100 million in business to Black-owned restaurants over 5 years (Restaurant Hospitality)
  • Aveeno Launches Skin Health Startup Accelerator For Black Female Entrepreneurs (Essence)
  • Pepsi Launches “Dig In” Platform + Consultancy Program to Support Black-Owned Restaurants (The Spoon) — PepsiCo recently announced the launch of “Dig In“, a consumer-facing platform aimed to highlight the importance of supporting Black-owned restaurants throughout the U.S.
  • Cummins Invests in the Future of 12 Black Female Entrepreneurs Through Grant Program (MarketWatch) – 12 interesting businesses win grants
  • NIKE, Inc. Announces Economic Empowerment Partnership with Black Girl Ventures (Nike) – Press release

Discrimination

  • Police investigating after racist note found outside Black-owned Oak Park café (Chicago Tribune) — Oak Park police are investigating after a brick with a note containing racist language was found Wednesday morning outside a Black-owned café on Oak Park Avenue.

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • Rep. Jackson Lee proposes commission to explore reparations for Black Americans (The Grio)
  • Joe Biden could send a message to Black Americans with this reparations bill (WEAR TV)
  • Mercado on Fifth awards $21,000 in grants to minority-owned businesses (QC Times) — Awardees include restaurants, cleaning companies and retail businesses owned by Black, Latinx, Asian and women entrepreneurs.
  • Movements that matter: Focusing on anti-racism and Black experiences in the workplace (HR Dive) – experiences of Black professionals may feature distinct complexities even as the entire workforce is navigating unprecedented, challenging conditions-
  • The Enterprise Center’s $1M initiative aims to transform Black and brown cleaning businesses into certified disinfectors (Generocity) — While ‘Pro Disinfect’ seeks a very specific outcome, it holds potential as a replicable and scalable model for racial equity, says ImpactPHL guest columnist John Moore.
  • This Local Entrepreneur Is Putting Black-Owned Businesses in the Spotlight (San Diego Magazine) — Duane Johnson launched Tuloko to make Black businesses more accessible
  • Black-founded Kanarys raises ‘historic’ $3 million in funding for diversity and inclusion technology (Dallas News) — Kanarys, a Dallas diversity and inclusion business founded by two Black women, is getting a $3 million boost to ramp up its technology, hiring and sales and marketing efforts.
  • Trader Joe’s Spotlights Black-Owned Suppliers (Winsight Grocery Business)
  • How Do We Sustain Organization Diversity? (Harvard Business School) — James Heskett reflects on one company’s high-profile struggle to bring in more Black executives.
  • 7 months after George Floyd’s death, corporations are still ‘diversity washing’ instead of making actual changes (Business Insider)

Economics

Black Economics

  • U.S. trade policies have disproportionately harmed Black and Latino workers, not just the White working class Trump courted, researchers find (Washington Post)
  • What Black Women Need To Know About Business Loans (Essence)
  • Black Wallstreet Grand Rapids aims to create thriving ‘Black business districts’ (mLive) – Sain wants to create a vibrant commercial corridor that complements existing businesses and brings new restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centers, bookstores and more to the strip.
  • For an Equitable Economy in 2021, We Must Center Black Women. Here Are Four Ways How. (Ms Magazine) – Our economy should work for everyone especially Black women.
  • Investment firm Bright Hope Capital buys RJ Leeper Construction Financing for BIPOC companies in region (The Charlotte Post) — Three Charlotte business leaders have launched an investment firm to establish and bolster Black and Hispanic-owned businesses in the Charlotte area. 

Straight up Econ / The Economy

  • US trade deficit jumps to $68.1 billion in November (Associated Press). General story but still interesting. The trade deficit is not as important as you think. We get cheap prices but lose jobs.
  • Fed’s 2015 Records Show Yellen Misjudged Room for Job Gains (Bloomberg) – So millions more Black people could have had jobs?  The fed seems to be missing the huge under employment problem.  There is NO wage inflation.

Industry Stories

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • The Boston Red Sox just hired Bianca Smith — the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball history (CNN)
  • Allan Houston, NBA Cares brings national crowdfunding program for diverse entrepreneurs to Louisville (Louisville Business First) — An innovative new crowdfunding platform is going to help get early-stage capital in the hands of Black founders in Louisville, thanks in part to a unique partnership involving basketball star Allan Houston and NBA Cares.
  • Suzi Analogue Wants Black Women in Experimental Music to Never Compromise (New York Times) – The music industry is a business that has relied on Black talent onstage without investing in Black executives behind the scenes;

Marketing / Advertising / Sales / Consumer Behavior

  • An insider’s view on African American art collecting (Coastal Point)

Alcohol / Marijuana / CBD / Gambling

  • There aren’t many Black-owned cannabis businesses. These 3 entrepreneurs say that can change. (NJ.com) — The November vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey was just what the owners of Roll Up Life, a CBD distribution company, say they have been waiting for.

Beauty / Fashion / Retail

  • Yes, Reebok Is Ready for Black Ownership — But It Will Need More Than That to Be Successful (Footwearnews)

Technology / Apps / Innovation

  • Op-ed: I broke barriers as Black woman in tech without a degree. Hire more workers like me (CNBC)

Finance / Investing / Venture Capital

  • Treasury to Make a $9 Billion Down Payment on a More Decentralized Banking System (Next City)
  • Black-Owned Private Equity Firm, East Chop Capital, Raises $4 Million and Announces Closing of its Inaugural Fund (Business Wire)
  • Jamaican fintech company receives massive boost from Black-led Florida firm (Face 2 Face Africa) — A Black-led investment firm Blue Mahoe Capital Partners Inc has acquired a 40% equity stake in Jamaica-based microfinance company Sprint Financial Services Ltd (SFS). SFS is operated virtually, providing loans and customer solutions to Jamaicans.
  • Black-Owned Businesses Are Still Struggling to Find Investors (CrunchBase Blog)

Real Estate / Finance / Development / Housing / Segregation

  • His parents weren’t homeowners, so this Minnesotan has dedicated his life to Black homeownership (Star Tribune) — Throughout his 25-year lending career, Trent Bowman has specialized in first-time home buyers and programs.

Cities / Urban Planning / Local Government

  • New constable hopes to create program that gets young people interested in law enforcement (CBS 19). The goal is to build a greater trust between minorities and law enforcement in Dallas.
  • Portland will build new homes, apartments, business incubator designed to benefit Black Portlanders (Oregon Live) — The Portland City Council unanimously approved a plan Wednesday to pump millions of dollars into affordable housing and economic redevelopment that proponents hope will benefit families displaced from Portland’s historic Black neighborhoods.

Politics / Government / National, State and Local

  • With Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock wins, Biden could raise taxes and boost health care (USA Today)
  • Cuyahoga County Equity Report Calls For Confronting Systemic Racism (IdeaStream)
  • Biden introduces nominees for his economic team (WPSD)
  • Black-Owned Jackson Businesses See Million-Dollar Boost (Jackson Free Press) – good long article Rockfeller Opportunity Collective program.
  • Portland will build new homes, apartments, business incubator designed to benefit Black Portlanders (Oregon Live) – “ Very White” shows what it takes to support a Black community.

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

  • Mexican-American and two white business owners sue Oregon for racial discrimination after $62M in COVID relief funds were set aside for black-owned businesses and residents (Daily Mail) — Oregon’s COVID-19 relief fund that earmarked millions for black residents and business owners has been halted due to lawsuits led by one Mexican-American and two white business owners who allege racial discrimination.

Education / Healthcare

  • Mortality rate for Black babies is cut dramatically when they’re delivered by Black doctors, researchers say (Washington Post)
  • Harvard Business School partners on initiative to build ‘pipeline of Black corporate talent’ (HR Dive)
  • Dominion announces $10M scholarship program for minority students (Virginia Business) — Richmond-based Dominion Energy Inc. announced Wednesday a six-year, $10 million initiative to provide scholarships to minority students who reside in the company’s service area, which includes Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • New startup Blackbook University aims to reimagine the Black student experience in higher ed (Portland Business Journal) — Entrepreneur Ibrahim Balde launched the startup with four co-founders and will be building it from his new Portland base.
  • Mortality rate for Black babies is cut dramatically when Black doctors care for them after birth, researchers say (Washington Post)

Farming / Agriculture / Food

  • America’s Grand Bargain on Agriculture Is in Danger (Bloomberg) — U.S. farm policy has long held urban and rural interests in delicate balance. Can David Scott, the first Black chairman of the House Agriculture committee, maintain it?

People and Careers

Career / Professions / Entrepreneurship / Businesses You Can Start

  • Must-have Tips For Starting Your Own Beauty Supply Store in 2021 (Influencive) — Now more than ever, Black-owned beauty supply stores are being bought by young African-American entrepreneurs that are becoming more interested in the hair care and beauty industry.
  • Forbes Announces The Forbes Fellowship For Business Journalism For Emerging BIPOC Journalists (Forbes) — Forbes today announced the Forbes Fellowship for Business Journalism, created to prepare and support young Black journalists and journalists of color from historically Black colleges and universities pursuing a career in business journalism.

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • Exclusive: Black Female-Founded Partake Foods Raises $4.8 Million In Funding From Investors—Including Rihanna (Forbes)
  • Entrepreneur’s Hair Products Empower Black Women (Practical Ecommerce) — KinkyCurlyYaki, Kaye’s company, sells hair extensions, wigs, and more — all to empower Black women with confidence and beauty.
  • They-re Making History as the Youngest Black Women to Co-Own a Property Under a Major Hotel Chain. (Because of Them We Can) — Two former college roommates just closed on an $8.3 million hotel, making history as the youngest Black women to co-own a property under a major hotel chain
  • These Black Women Are Now The Youngest To Own A Hotel Under A Major Chain (Travel Noire) – Another view of the same story because it’s so good.
  • Black Owned 607: Shuna’s Hair Studio (Binghamton) — This week’s Black Owned 607 segment features a hair salon owner who is eager to share what’s she’s learned with young stylists.
  • How founder Rachel Rodgers hit a $1 million-month after Covid upended her business (CNBC) — While women, and especially women of color, are driving forces behind the growth of small businesses in America, just 2% of women-owned businesses bring in $1 million in revenue in a given year.
  • The Cut Finds Its New Top Editor at Teen Vogue (The New York Times) — Lindsay Peoples Wagner will leave her job as the editorial leader of the Condé Nast publication to take over New York Magazine’s style and culture site.
  • Siblings launch puzzle business focused on Black representation (Yahoo Finance) – Puzzles of Color finds artwork depicting Black culture created by artists of color and puts them on puzzles.

Gone but not forgotten

  • Guinevere Redd of Redd’s Funeral Home passes away (Baltimore Sun)

All Other

Caribbean / Africa / International

  • South Africa’s black middle class has prospered under democracy (The Economist)

Travel / History / Arts / Culture

  • The Black Market: A guide to art collecting by Charles Moore (Bookshop.org) – A guide to collecting black art.

Conservative / Alternative

  • Candace Owens: ‘Black’ categories on Netflix, Uber Eats are ‘segregation’ (New York Post)

Opinion

  • Op-ed: I broke barriers as Black woman in tech without a degree. Hire more workers like me (CNBC)

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