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.