Updated: Feb 28, 2022
For too many years, the leadership and the citizenry of cities have discounted the overall importance of the Black Business Community. It is now time for us to revisit that view and recognize that "things have changed."
The Black business now located and growing in each city is far different from the past. And, according to the Distinguished Professor, Dr. Ed Davis, former Dean of the Business School at Clark Atlanta University, these businesses have a significant Economic Impact on the city daily. Using Atlanta, GA as an example with the only data available (2002), Dr. Davis suggests that the Black business community in Metro Atlanta's economic impact caused by their sales is $5 Billion, they employ well over 26,000 people when you county self-employed and drive the economic activity of $9 Billion and stimulate as additional 56,000 jobs. When you examine these numbers, you realize that according to Dr. Thomas Boston of GA Tech, Black for every $1 million spent with Black businesses, ten jobs are added to the businesses. Seven of these jobs will go to Black people. Also, according to Dr. Boston, "Over the last five years, Black businesses outgrew those of all other ethnic groups." Then you can easily recognize the overall impact that the Black business has on a given community as they provide jobs and cause other economic activity resulting in employment at a distinctively fast rate. Thus, an investment through increasing our spending or contracting with Black business brings about a positive result within the Black and general community, a view not commonly held!
Accordingly, if these businesses did not exist, would their employees be out of work? Would the philanthropy within the Black community be affected? Would not the overall taxes (business, payroll, etc.) paid into the City, County, and State Treasuries be involved?
The economic support these businesses provide is only an example of their leadership. Their leadership makes them successful and why the community gains from their existence. These business owners are the Black Communities leaders, and the White Business owners are the de facto leaders of the city. When equally considered as an Asset, they need to be invited to the table of opportunities as a valuable contributor to your city's overall success as a city.
The point is that the Black business community of today needs to be recognized as an Asset of the entire Community and treated as such. We should have a Citywide Ten-Year plan for their continued development and define the contributions they could be making for the god of the order. We should be investing in these businesses through tax incentives such as wage or real estate tax breaks, contract support, and financial resources to assist them in producing an even more significant economic effect. They bring about a Black community ROI (Return on Investment) and dramatically affect the economics of the entire city. A return composed of jobs, wages paid, and community support. While they may be special emphasis programs within a given community, these efforts should be seen as an investment. The city should expect a return for assistance.
The Black business community could be the difference between some company or person moving to Atlanta and Georgia. When these opportunists can see the benefit of a strategic effort to include and grow ALL of our economic assets. This could easily be a difference-maker! The Black business community within any city can cause that city to have a sustainable competitive advantage over other cities when competing for resources. Additionally, suppose we will continue making our local communities inviting places for a business to locate and grow. Creating initiatives to ensure the sustainability of local communities and their businesses would surely put Atlanta on another level regarding the economic enhancement of both businesses and people. In that case, we must invest in ALL our communities, especially the Black businesses. Again, according to Dr. Boston, "Black businesses account for a growing percentage of US final demand and jobs and locate in underserved communities."
It is a new day for Black businesses when we talk about what they bring to the table every day and not just their needs. Think about this and talk it up!
It’s Gotta Change!
Vol 2 No: #1 Month January 2022