Top Black Business and Economic Stories for Week of May 18th to 24th

Quick Check of Key Economic Indicators:

“Real” Black Employment Rate     24.8%
Unemployment U-3                        14.7%

DJIA                                               24,995

Tyler Perry Plans to reopen studio

Tyler Perry productions plans to re-open it’s TV studio this summer. They plan to start production on at least two TV shows. They will follow strict workplace safety measures. 

Study find Black and Spanish businesses are not receiving PPP loans
Unidos US, Color of Change and Global Strategy Group surveyed 500 Black and LatinX business owners and 1200 Black and Spanish workers.  They found that up to 45% of Black and Spanish business owners may close by the end of the year.  More than half of the business (51%) have applied for assistance ($20,000 dollars or less), only 12% got anything.

Here’s the press release. You can also view a summary presentation here.

Forbes Magazine has a write-up

CBS News has the story also

Working black business drop by 40% 

The Washington Post reports that Black businesses are having a difficult time during the Coronavirus Pandemic. New research show that in April up to 450,000 active Black businesses have closed.

NAACP call for more PPP lending by congress to Minority Communities

NAACP would like to see more minority lending in the PPP program

How to help Black businesses in Baltimore

Wayne Frazier, writing in the Baltimore Business Journal, has some ideas for assisting minority businesses. 

Robert Smith offers advice on getting PPP loans

Robert Smith appeared on the CBS Morning news with Gayle King. Robert Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners, is the richest Black Billionaire in the US with a net worth of $5 billion dollars. He is known for paying off the entire student debt of last years graduating class at Morehouse College. 

Reality TV Personality Charged with Bank Fraud

The justice department charged “Arkansas Mo”, real name Maurice Fayne, with Bank Fraud.  He is a reality TV start on Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta.  He owns Flame Trucking. He is accused of misusing a $2 million dollar PPP loan for personal items rather meeting his business payroll.  

Magic Johnson and NAN help loan $100 Million

Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Equitrust Funds Over $100 Million In PPP Loans For Minority And Women-owned Businesses

Credit denials by race to be collected
CFPB lawsuit settlement forces agency to collect data oncredit access.

President Trump meets with Black leaders in Michigan
President Trump met with Black leaders in the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan before touring the plant.
The president read a prepared statement of accomplishments and generic remarks which included his hits: “China is responsible for the virus” and “Black people had the lowest unemployment rate ever.” He ended with remarks opposing mail-in voting.

C-Span has the video
Several of the leaders work directly for him. One leader is a senate candidate in Michigan. Here is a partial list:

Ben Carson Sr., M.D., Secretary Department of Housing and Urban Development

Scott Turner, Executive Director, White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council

John James, Senate Candidate – Michigan

Ja Ron Smith – Assistant to President for Domestic Policy

Karen Whitsett, State Representative, Michigan

Pastor Darrell Scott

You may have missed

City Lab has a good story on under investment in Black neighborhoods. The City Lab link is here.

Joe Biden released a plan for Black America called “Lift Every Voice”.
The plan address proposes to “improve economic mobility, close racial wealth gaps, improve education, and end health disparities by race.” There are also some justice related ideas such as promoting a fairer justice system, increasing voter access and addressing environmental issues.

Our View: While the proposals are certainly needed, it’s a rather small and timid grab bag of extensions to existing programs. It does not do much to tackle underlying issues.  However, given where we are with the Trump administration, the plan is a welcome change of tone and direction.

Interesting People

United Airlines Appoints Brett J Hart as President

Pioneer black architect, Robert Coles, passes away


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 500 points this week to 24,995 on the hopes of opening the US economy and a vaccine.  

Top Black Business and Economic Stories for the Week of May 24th to May 31st

Protest Related

Minneapolis has some of the worst inequality in the US. (Washington Post)

UC Berkeley News has a piece about ignoring the advice of the Kerner Commission called “The Road Not Taken: 50 Years After the Kerner Commission.”

Here is the Kerner Commission Report Executive Summary and the Kerner Commission Report.

In 1968, The Kerner Commission Got It Right, But No One Listened(Smithsonian Magazine) — Quick Summary: The riots were caused by segregation(White flight) and lack of economic opportunity. Duh. Add in a dose of Police violence and you get a riot.

Blackout Day is July 7th — Social Media is calling for Blackout Day on July 7th. A nationwide boycott of all spending by Black people. In addition people should spend 15% of their incomes with Black people. The campaign is called Blackout 2020.

The hash tag is #BlackOutDay2020 on Instagram and Facebook.  There are details at the KHOU in Houstion has a write-up.

Camille Squires (Mother Jones) asks the right question: “How much do looted stores really contribute to the local community?”

Marijuana Industry should deliver on social justice (Pot Network)
If any industry owes something to Black people, it’s the Marijuana Industry, which is controlled by rich, White men.


Black New Yorkers hit with high layoffs(NY Patch)
Black business is Boston try to stay open (Boston 25 News)
Black barbers and stylist work from home (LA Times)
Work in the hair industry is difficult with social distancing(ABC News)
Massachusetts business look for equitable development and recovery (Mass Inc)

Racism and Inequality

Racism is the reason the US has such a weak social safety net (NoahSmith writes in Bloomberg opinion)
Older piece from 2019 on same topic (Marketwatch)
Black Wealth 2020 details “equality” policy proposals to lawmakers(Charleston Chronicle). 
Black people invest in the stock market at much lower rates than others. (Investors Business Daily) The stock market since 2008 has been a great investment


Massachusetts Attorney General wins $380,000 settlement with ENE Systems over false claims of hiring minority subcontractors.(WGBH)


Human Rights Watch has produced a report on the Tulsa Race Riot / Greenwood Massacre Reparations study (Human Rights Watch)

General Economics

Many of the problems in US society and Black communities can be linked to de-industrialization. Senator Marco Rubio(R-FL) believes de-industrialization reduced Black opportunities which contributed to covid related deaths among Blacks.

De-industrialization(The Hour)
Sen. Marco Rubio proposes industrialization to close Black White income gap.(The Federalist)


Seventeen medical schools with the highest percentage of African Americans(Yahoo Finance)
A majority of first round NFL picks have Black agents.(Black Press USA)
State budget under huge pressure as Lottery Sales have fallen off(NJ TapInfo)
Andrea Harris, leader of Black economic development, dies (ABC 11 Raleigh – Durham)

History Lesson

Sarah Rector was a Black female millionaire during the 1920s. She made her money when oil was discovered on her family’s land. The US Government forced the land to be given to the family by the  tribe who held her family as slaves.

How native Americans adopted slavery from White Americans. (Al Jazeera). Members of five Native American nations, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations (known as the Five Tribes) owned black slaves.

From last week

Less than 40% of Black Business still open (Jacksonville Free Press)