Black Business and Economic Stories for the Week of November 9th to 15th 2020

This was a light week for stories, probably due to the election. A couple of real estate and mortgage stories and that’s it.

Top Stories

  • Post-protest boom for Black-owned businesses loses steam (Colorado Springs Independent)
  • The Impact Of Covid-19 On Black And Latino Small Businesses (Forbes). Areas with higher concentrations of Black-owned businesses were not well served by PPP in comparison to others.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative faces racial discrimination allegations from former employee (Tech Crunch)
  • Record Low Mortgage Rates Widen Historic U.S. Economic Divides (Bloomberg). The homeownership rate among Black Americans was 46% as of Sept. 30, compared with 67.4% for all U.S. households and 75.8% for White people.
  • The racial wealth gap in real estate is growing. Here are 3 ways housing has been harder for Black Americans in 2020 (Business Insider)
  • Elayne Arrington, the first Black female engineer to graduate from University of Pittsburgh (Pitt Magazine)
  • Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. will head new California African American Chamber of Commerce (Black Voices News)
  • Ten leading Black spirits industry executives (The Spirits Business) — Drinks firms have unveiled new programs and roles to support its Black employees, including the creation of diversity and inclusion officers.

Protest / Social Justice

Coronavirus / Covid-19 / Paycheck Protection Program

  • The Impact Of Covid-19 On Black And Latino Small Businesses (Forbes). Areas with higher concentrations of Black-owned businesses were not well served by PPP in comparison to others.
  • Researchers work to diversify clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine (Marketplace). Nearly half of Black adults and 37% of Latinx adults said they wouldn’t take a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Flagstar Bank grants $150,000 for minority-owned small businesses in West Michigan (MiBiz) — $75,000 allocated to support Black businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • Chicago Businesses Struggle as COVID-19 Shutdown Appears Imminent (WTTW)

Jobs / Workers / Unemployment / Gig

  • The Federation of Black & Minority Businesses aims to bring economic change to urban community (6ABC) – The Federation of Black & Minority Businesses aims to raise awareness in the African-American community and create jobs and resources.
  • Cybersecurity industry in Detroit is growing and mentors are starting with young people (Detroit Free Press) – Detroit nonprofit helps create a pipeline to bring in more Black professionals.

Black Business General / Interesting Businesses Stories

  • Businesses Trying to Rebound After Unrest Face a Challenge: Not Enough Insurance (New York Times). Small businesses are struggling to recover from the damages caused by lootings in racial justice protests.
  • Michigan small businesses receive nearly $100M in CARES Act grants, state says (Detroit Free Press). Of the 14,000 grants, 4,617 went to businesses that reported they were minority-owned and 6,314 reported as woman-owned.
  • Shop local: Here are 5 holiday gift ideas from Black-owned businesses in Louisville (Courier Journal) – A list of Black businesses that could use support during the Holiday season
  • Post-protest boom for Black-owned businesses loses steam (CS Indy) – Communications director for the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce says as time passed, phone calls in support of Black businesses have died down.
  • Change Today, Change Tomorrow opening store on Story Avenue (Biz Journal) – Pocket Change is a new multi-business retail space that is offering exposure to Black Businesses
  • Black Owned Maine partners with Portland Buy Local, asks shoppers to allocate 10% of spending to Black-owned businesses (New Center Maine) – The Maine Black Business Pledge asks consumers and retailers to shift focus to Black businesses
  • Why We Funded Over 50 Black-Owned Bars & Restaurants (Chicago Crusader) – Funding given in wake of systemic neglect of minority business owners.

Black Business Specific

  • 10 Black-Owned Vegan Food Ventures in Greater Phoenix (Phoenix New Times)
  • Henrico County to welcome Black-owned supermarket in east end (WRIC.Com)

Big Business / Corporate

  • BMO Commits $5 Billion to Advance Inclusive Economic Recovery in the U.S. (BMO). BMO Financial pledges $5 billion to tackle U.S. racial wealth gap (American Banker) — BMO Financial Group in Toronto is committing $5.1 billion over the next five years to advance a more inclusive economic recovery.
  • Citi has since launched Action for Racial Equality, a $1 billion initiative aimed at closing the wealth gap through investments in Black businesses (Cheddar) – Another story and link to Citibank racial equity report.
  • New Voices Foundation & JPMorgan Chase Launch Banking Bootcamp For Black Women Entrepreneurs (Essence). This partnership will help Black women entrepreneurs establish strong business banking relationships and expand their access to capital.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods to invest $12.5 million in Black Economic Development Fund (Biz Journals) — Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is partnering with a long-established national nonprofit in an effort to help revolve America’s racial wealth gap.
  • Knight Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, Surdna Foundation invest $2M in Miami’s Center for Black Innovation (Biz Journal) — The John S. James L. Knight Foundation is investing $1.5 million in the newly formed Center for Black Innovation in Miami.
  • Target rebuilt riot-hit store with Black input (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) – Target aims to improve its image with Black customers.

Discrimination

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative faces racial discrimination allegations from former employee (Tech Crunch)

Reparations / Affirmative Action / Diversity / Inclusion

  • Why California Rejected Racial Preferences, Again (The Atlantic). A majority voted against repealing the state’s ban on affirmative action.
  • YBNB Magazine releases ‘Black Faces in High Places’ nomination process and poster (Kusi) — “Young Black And In Business” that has been helping entrepreneurs build their professional network for the last five years.
  • NJ business leaders: Diversity isn’t just right, it’s good for business (NJ 1015) — The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is joining forces with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to address economic inequities that exist for Black citizens and business owners.
  • Black Bank Fund to Invest $250 Million in Black-Owned Banks (Black Bank Fund) – Black Bank Fund looks to fund Black Banks to help close the racial wealth gap.
  • UPS to Allow Natural Black Hairstyles and Facial Hair (NY Times)
  • Vivek Ramaswamy: Affirmative action should focus on economics, not race (Fox Wilmington) — Conservative

Economics

Black Economics

  • The US is closer than ever to a $15 federal minimum wage after Biden win (CNBC)

Straight up Econ / The economy

  • Is another Progressive Era coming? (Brookings Institute). The book The Upswing by Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett talk about the economic and political polarization within our current economy. Biden said he’d forgive $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers. Will it actually happen? (CNBC)

Category Stories

Sports / Media / Entertainment

  • Streaming TV Service, Philo, Donates $1 Million Dollars in Ad Impressions to 20+ Black-owned Businesses and Social Justice Organizations (Philo)  — Philo’s Ad campaign to help Black businesses is featured on several TV networks.
  • “Built to Last” American Express Podcast Features Detroit Lip Bar CEO Melissa Butler (Detroit Is It) – Video podcast “Built To Last” hopes to inspire listeners to make the conscious choice to shop at Black-owned small businesses.

Alcohol / Marijuana / CBD

  • Arizona’s only Black-owned brewery launches this week. Say hello to Kitsune Brewing (AZ Central)
  • Ten leading Black spirits industry executives (The Spirits Business) — Drinks firms have unveiled new programs and roles to support its Black employees, including the creation of diversity and inclusion officers.

Beauty / Fashion / Retail

  • Black women entrepreneurs sell the medical wigs other companies won’t (Boston Globe) – Black women entrepreneurs look to address lack of curly and kinky wigs
  • The Business of Blackfishing (BOF) – Appearing Black or racially ambiguous has become brand-building exercise for white influencers.

Technology / Apps / Innovation

  • Black Entrepreneur Creates App to Help Film Police Brutality and Alert Family Members (Urban Trendsetters)

Finance / Investing

  • Flagstar Bank Commits $1 Million in Grants to Local Communities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color-Owned Businesses (Flagstar).
  • Black-owned banks under the Biden adminstration (American Banker).
  • Black NC funeral home owner Scarborough, Hayti historian, ‘son of Durham,’ dies at 83
  • JPMorgan and the New Voices Foundation launch business bootcamp for WOC (The Grio) – JP Morgan to launch business banking education program for 15 business-savvy female entrepreneurs of color.

Real Estate / Housing / Segregation

  • Record Low Mortgage Rates Widen Historic U.S. Economic Divides (Bloomberg). The homeownership rate among Black Americans was 46% as of Sept. 30, compared with 67.4% for all U.S. households and 75.8% for White people.
  • The racial wealth gap in real estate is growing. Here are 3 ways housing has been harder for Black Americans in 2020 (Business Insider)

Cities / Urban Planning / Local Government

  • 1921 Commission Receives $1 Million Grant from Bank of America for Greenwood Rising (The Black Wall Street). This art history will tell the story of the original “Black Wall Street”.
  • Disinvested: How Government And Private Industry Let The Main Street Of A Black Neighborhood Crumble (Block Club Chicago)

Politics / Government / State and Local

  • Black Americans Largely Rebuked Trump’s Overtures, Helped Lift Biden (Wall Street Journal)
  • Biden Video Uses Artist’s Vision to Project a Unified Country (New York Times). Lorraine O’Grady’s concept of placing people inside frames to promote images of an inclusive, diverse America.
  • US Black Lives Matter leader believes Joe Biden will do the bare minimum for African Americans (News Hub). Can’t really find original source RNZ article
  • A Key Voting Issue – The Black American Economy Needs a Real Agenda Now (Affluent Blacks of Dallas)

Education / Healthcare

  • Historically Black colleges and universities are remaking American politics (Washington Post). HBCUs are important producers of Black female leaders.

People and Careers

Career / Professions / Entrepreneurship / Businesses You Can Start

  • Building wealth as a Black woman is an uphill battle, but 3 tricks have helped me save money even when my income is low (Business Insider)
  • Knight Foundation donates $2 Million for Black entrepreneurship center in Miami  (Knight Foundation)
  • Why we need to bring the entrepreneurship narrative back to small-business owners (Fast Company)

People / Motivation / Leadership / Success Stories / Ideas

  • Meet Stacey Abrams, the architect of Georgia’s political shift from ‘red’ to ‘purple’ (Business Insider)
  • The Harris Effect: Research Suggests Five Ways That The VP Could Shape Future Generations (Forbes). The “Harris effect” will lead to powerful outcomes for women of color.
  • Kamala Harris shows Black women they have the power to change the world (CNN)
  • ‘GMA’ Deals and Steals on 9 small businesses from Oprah’s favorite things list (GMA) – Oprah’s ‘favorite things’ list includes products from Black-owned businesses.
  • CobblerWorld brings back memories with childhood desserts (The Duquesne Duke) – CobblerWorld’s niche is nostalgic baked goods.
  • Shopping, anyone? Pop-up marketplace to showcase 15 businesses owned by Black women (Click2Houston) – Showcase aims to keep Black dollars within the community.
  • Do you own a Virginia small business? This certification could benefit your bottom line (Progress-Index) – November 20 webinar looks to spotlight woman and minority businesses
  • All the gifts under $50 from Oprah’s Favorite Things list (Business Insider) – Oprah’s yearly list highlights Black-owned businesses.
  • Elayne Arrington, the first Black female engineer to graduate from University of Pittsburgh (Pitt Magazine)
  • Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. will head new California African American Chamber of Commerce (Black Voices News)

Good News

  • Black-owned business vandalized, now ready to reopen after overwhelming support (Fox 26 News) – Strong support system allows vandalized Black business to rebuild.

All Other

Conservative / Alternative

  • 4 Policies Joe Biden Must Rethink if He Actually Wants to Address Racial Disparities (FEE)

Opinion

  • Commentary: Democrats need Black voters in Georgia to seize real power — and Stacey Abrams could deliver (Chicago Tribune)

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

North American Industry Classification System Files

This PPP data is an amazing snap shot of business in the US.


I see four quick trends without doing a lot of deep analysis.


1. They were handing out money left and right. The shoveled out $4.4 billion in NJ in three months. It looks like anyone who applied for money got money.  

2. The number of self-identified Asian businesses is huge in NJ. Black businesses are minuscule and the number of Hispanic business is small.

3. I looked at my town, Teaneck, and a lot of doctors and doctors offices applied and got money.  In Teaneck, only one Black business got any money.  A barber ship got $25,000.

4. There were a lot of restaurants and beauty salons on the list

5. It’s not clear how many jobs were saved because of self-reporting data inaccuracies.


It also really shows how poorly Black people have done in terms of starting businesses. I looked at the list and we are pretty pitiful. 


The data is dominated by unclassified (white) businesses but some self-identify.  

Editor’s Note: To make the analysis easy, you have to assume people self-identify (or don’t) at a consistant ratio. In other words, people who don’t self report can be split by the same ratios as people who do self report.

The number of Asian businesses in NJ is amazing.  We are probably number # behind CA and NY. 


You will need the NAICS code description to see what the business actually does.