Black Business and Economic Stories for September 7th to September 13th

Top Stories

  • Thyk Skynn, Black-Owned Line of Bulletproof Vests For Adults and Children Sees 400% Increase in Sales (Chicago Crusader) – This is dope.
  • Black business group pressures Massachusetts Governor Baker to diversify state contract awards (Boston Globe)
  • The Color Of Public Money: Black Businesses’ Share Of Public Contracts Has Declined Over 20 Years (WGBH) – Must read.
  • Walmart details its report on diversity (Arkansas Democrat Gazette). You can read the report here. (Walmart). Blacks are 21% of workers and 12% of managers.
  • Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC (Bitcoin.com) – TI was charged with a fraudulent initial coin offering.
  • Many Black WW2 veterans were denied their GI benefits. (War on the Rocks)
  • Opportunity Zones Get Big Push as Critics Question Who They Help (Bloomberg) – Trumps only proposal for the Black community.
  • Covid-19 has exposed the consequences of decades of bad public housing policy (Washington Post) – Great discussion of public housing

Covid-19 / Coronavirus

  • Column: ‘It’s like we’ve been living in a pandemic all along.’ COVID-19 and recent looting add to setbacks for long-neglected North Lawndale (Chicago Tribune) – by Dahleen Glanton. Very good writer to follow.
  • Covid-19 deaths among Black essential workers linked to racial health care disparities (Health Care Finance)
  • Racial Disparities in COVID‐19 Mortality Among Essential Workers in the United States (World Medical & Health Policy)
  • How economic factors are putting people of color at greater risk for coronavirus (PBS)
  • Small businesses are losing confidence in their survival (Axios) – 43% of black-owned businesses say cash reserves will be depleted by year end.
  • COVID-19 deaths among black essential workers linked to racial disparities (EurekAlert). African Americans are more likely to be essential workers, thus having a greater chance of contracting COVID.
  • A Second Stimulus Check Could Be Coming. Can Low-Income Households Wait? (Forbes). Even though blacks have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, the second proposed stimulus check (HEALS and HEROES) may be delayed.

Protest

  • New Reporting Shows Kenosha Riots Hit Minority Communities Hardest (Foundation for Economic Education) – Conservative
  • American Airlines shows support for Black staff, passengers with Black Lives Matter pins (USA Today). American Airlines provides their support to African Americans, and believes in equity and inclusion for all.

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig Economy / Labor

  • African Americans and the Labor Movement (Chicago Crusader)
  • Jobs to Move America’s coalition announced the renewal of their community benefits agreement with Chinese electric bus manufacturer BYD (Antelope Valley Press) – “As a result of the targeted hiring program, workers of color comprise 90% of BYD’s workforce, with African-American workers representing 30% of the total workforce. “
  • US layoffs remain elevated as job market’s gains weaken (Philadelphia Tribune)
  • Gov. Newsom of California Signs Bill Allowing Producers, Writers, Musicians and More to Remain Freelancers (LA Watts Times)
  • UI claims rising as jobs remain scarce (Economic Policy Institute)
  • Keeping it Real: Hard Work (Black Voice News) – Talks about Black unemployment then pivots to support for California Propostion 22.  It’s so weird seeing editorials in the Black press on a topic they never paid any attention to.  Hmmm.

Inequaltiy / Systemic Racism

Black Business Specific

  • Clint Gray of Slim & Husky’s discusses West Coast expansion (Rolling Out)
  • Santa Monica Black-Owned Businesses and Entrepreneurs (Part 10 in a Series) (City of Santa Monica) – Unique stories from Black-owned business owners.
  • Thyk Skynn, Black-Owned Line of Bulletproof Vests For Adults and Children Sees 400% Increase in Sales (Chicago Crusader) – This is dope.
  • Former NFL linebacker Darryl Sharpton is now thriving with an online furniture business (CNBC)

Black Business General

  • Black Farming Conference to show the way for next generation of farmers (Dayton.com)
  • Pittsburgh’s Black farmers work to grow a new future (Environmental Health News)
  • WKYT TV) – Lexington, KY
  • Black business group pressures Massachusetts Governor Baker to diversify state contract awards (Boston Globe)
  • The Color Of Public Money: Black Businesses’ Share Of Public Contracts Has Declined Over 20 Years (WGBH) – Must read.
  • ‘Lift As We Climb’ To Support Black-Owned Business (Happi) – Gabrielle Union’s “Lift as We Climb” initiative to highlight black-owned brands on its social channels and webpages.
  • Supporting Black-Owned Businesses Should Be More Than Just A Trend (Forbes). An increase in searches for Black-owned businesses prove that support for them should be continuous.
  • Black-owned businesses still face uphill financial battle during the pandemic (Marketplace). This is a podcast from the Marketplace Morning Report, addressing the concerns for black businesses.

Black Institutions

  • The National Business League Aims to Empower 1 Million Black Businesses By 2025 (The Black Chronicle)

Big Business

  • Walmart details its report on diversity (Arkansas Democrat Gazette). You can read the report here. (Walmart). Blacks are 21% of workers and 12% of managers.
  • Target also release it’s diversity report (Target) – Blacks are 15% of workers and 12% of managers.
  • Zillow, Nextdoor and Other Companies Pledge to Add Black Directors (Wall Street Journal)
  • Fifth Third Foundation Powers $1.2 Million Innovation Meets Main Street Program for Black, Women-Owned Entrepreneurs (Business Wire) — $1.2 Million of $8.75 million pledge dedicated specifically to Black Women-Owned Business.
  • CareerBuilder Offers Free Services to Black-Owned Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (PR Newswire)
  • Bank of America backs Black-owned banks, including one in Detroit, in $300 million equality drive (Detroit Business) – Bank of America’s pledge of $1 Billion over four years includes direct equity investments in black-owned businesses. Black-owned SC lender lands investment from Bank of America (The Post and Courier)
  • Biotech company partners with Black-owned bank (Miami Times) – Partnership aims to help close the racial wealth gap and serves as support for the #BankBlack movement.

Discrimination

Affirmative Action

  • Vote NO on California Proposition 16 restoring ‘affirmative action’ (Bakersfield.com) – Just a collection of frequent complaints supporting inaction. It costs too much. Pretty lame.

Industry

  • Cannabis industry in Colorado takes on social justice (Daily Camera)
  • Amazon to hire 100,000 to keep up with online shopping surge (Philadelphia Tribune)
  • Retail strategies to support Black-owned businesses, tap into $1.5 trillion buying power of Black shoppers (Food Navigator USA)

Real Estate / Housing

  • How Philly’s affordable housing problem was 100 years in the making (BillyPenn)
  • Work begins on National Pullman Monument (Chicago Crusader)
  • 19 families buy nearly 97 acres of land in Georgia to create a city safe for Black people (KMOV TV)
  • R&B singer Akon moves ahead with ‘Akon City’ in Senegal (Associated Press)
  • Attica Locke: why did my black ancestors never leave Texas? They knew land is power (Guardian)
  • Board OKs variances for Milford, DE African American funeral home project (Delaware State News) – Wow, if you want to see how complicated local development is, read this.  You need to lawyer up. 
  • Community land trusts could help heal segregated cities (The Conversation)
  • Donating Materials, Time and Talent to Boost Black Homeownership (Next City)
  • Covid-19 has exposed the consequences of decades of bad public housing policy (Washington Post) – Great discussion of public housing

Finance / investing

  • African Nations Say They’re Being Ripped Off by Wall Street (Yahoo Finance)
  • Memphis City Council urges state to ban all payday lenders (WMC TV)
  • Investors Want to Align Their Dollars with Racial Justice Demands (Next City). Activists demand investors to include fiscal justice investments into their strategies.

Tech / Apps / Venture Capital

  • SunUp App Launches to Discover Black-Owned Businesses in NYC (PR Newswire) – Is it Black Owned? With the SunUp app, you no longer need to ask. Good find.
  • Venture investors need to invest in Black-owned businesses (Big Think). Abner Mason recommends that all venture capital firms agree to invest 13% of their funds to African American Businesses.

Straight Up Econ

  • Progressive economists have left rural America behind (Business Insider) – A social safety net would help, but people vote with their cars by moving.
  • Opportunity Zones Get Big Push as Critics Question Who They Help (Bloomberg)
  • How US consumers use their stimulus payments (VOXEU)             

People

  • Wesley Gillespie reflects on his journey to leadership (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
  • Jasmine Lawrence, CEO, started beauty company at 13 years old (Fox) – She used her allowance at age 13 and now has products in CVS, Target, Walmart and Sally’s.
  • Wilma Mae Basta’s Childhood Was Steeped in Black Activism. Now as an Entrepreneur, She Seeks to Support other Women(Inc)

In Passing

  • Theodore R. Laster Jr., a veteran real estate agent in Baltimore city’s comptroller’s office, dies (Baltimore Sun) – Interesting bio

Government / Politics

  • Trump’s second-term agenda for African American voters: expand opportunity zones (McClatchy DC)
  • BLACK ECONOMIC ALLIANCE PAC ENDORSES NY CANDIDATES JACKIE GORDON, MONDAIRE JONES
  • Black Economic Alliance endorses NY Candidates: Jackie Gordon and Mondaire Jones (Black Star News)
  • Covid-19 has exposed the consequences of decades of bad public housing policy (Washington Post) – Great discussion of public housing
  • Race Training for Federal Employees is a “Sickness” (FedSmith) – Conservative
  • Environment
  • Citizens for a Sustainable Future bridging the green gap in Black communities (Tallahassee Democrat)

Africa / Caribbean / International / Diaspora

  • Trudeau announces $221M loan program for Black entrepreneurs (BNN Bloomberg) – COVID-19 brings systemic gaps that Black Canadians face to light

Immigration

  • How immigrants expand the U.S. economy(Phys.org) – Not sure we agree with this in a tribal, zero-growth economy.  The real world tells us otherwise.
  • Africa, stop ruining your future by exporting needed human capital! (The Africa Report)
  • Sports / Media / Entertainment / Travel
  • A high school basketball player has a 0.01% chance of making the pros. (NCAA)
  • National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals Presents Its 7th Annual “State of Black Tourism” Event Hosted By The National Press Club (Yahoo Finance).

Law / Crime / Scams

  • Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC (Bitcoin.com) – TI was charged with a fraudulent initial coin offering.

Education

  • At USF, 23 research projects will focus on racism and disparities (Tampa Bay Times) – “The work will involve 90 faculty across eight colleges and the university’s three campuses.”
  • USF ranks among top in the nation for reducing inequality, outlining a potential rise on a national stage (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Military

History

  • Matewan, WV. Reopening Of Mine Wars Museum Includes Uncovered History (West Virginia Public Broadcasting) – Part of famous story where Black, White and Immigrant workers joined forces.

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