William Pickard discusses with Roland Martin growing business beyond the 1 employee plateau.
William Pickard discusses with Roland Martin growing business beyond the 1 employee plateau.
Not sure the author of this article has much of a grip on the dynamics of change in the black community in the past 50 years. First off is his limiting the scope of “Black Business” to the pre-Civil Rights, Jim Crow enforced black enclaves that formed the majority of the black communities in the US prior to 1965.
That world is, by and large…Gone. The simple fact is, everybody that could, financially…Done left the ghetto.
It also means that black owed businesses no longer had to limit themselves to selling product or services in very limited venues to solely black customers. And it meant that black owned businesses in black only neighborhoods was no longer protected from competition.
So where are the black owned businesses of today?
Black owned businesses in the United States increased 34.5% between 2007 and 2012 totaling 2.6 million Black firms. More than 95% of these businesses are mostly sole proprietorship or partnerships which have no paid employees. About 4 in 10 black-owned businesses (1.1 Million) in 2012 operated in the health care, social assistance; and other services such as repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors.
Can black folks, and should they do better? You betcha. And there are a number of programs to educate prospective black entrepreneurs to better manage, promote, and finance their business ideas. I personally am very high on the ” Equity Crowdfunding” concept as a replacement for traditional Venture Capital for minority owned firms. The simple fact is, VC is a white boy’s club, which according to Forbes, invests less than .3% of their funds into black owned business despite the fact that black entrepreneurs in tech have higher success rates, and “exit event” (payout) rates calculated to provide returns 7 times more frequently than the typical VC investment in white boys out of college. Crowdfunding doesn’t appear so far to have such stereotype racism, and nearly 30% of the investments are going in to minority owned firms.
Now imagine that in 2020, the new leading source of startup capital is one in which there is a level playing field for minority-owned firms. Based on the experience of at least one equity crowdfunding platform, it’s quite possible that will be the case. In an internal sample of 5,000 companies using EquityNet, the world’s largest equity crowdfunding platform, 32 percent were minority-owned, including 9 percent owned by African-Americans. What’s more, minority-owned firms surveyed on EquityNet, which is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, were achieving the same funding success rate (20 percent) and seeking similar amounts of capital on average (around $1 million) compared to non-minority-owned firms on EquityNet.
While Crowdfunding doesn’t solve the second or third stage money issues where typical investments can be from $3-20 million, it at least provides a platform whereby the start-up firm can either reach product production , or some level of revenue. With the success rate of equity crowdfunding, you can bet some enterprising financial folks are looking at setting up that second stage funding!
As to that article –
They once served their communities when others wouldn’t, and over the past 30 years, they’ve practically vanished.
At the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., a hallway of glass display cases features more than a century’s worth of black entrepreneurial triumphs. In one is a World War II–era mini parachute manufactured by the black-owned Pacific Parachute Company, home to one of the nation’s first racially integrated production plants. Another displays a giant clock from the R. H. Boyd Publishing Company, among the earliest firms to print materials for black churches and schools. Although small, the exhibit recalls a now largely forgotten legacy: By serving their communities when others wouldn’t, black-owned independent businesses provided avenues of upward mobility for generations of black Americans and supplied critical leadership and financial support for the civil rights movement.
This tradition continues today. Last June, Black Enterprise magazine marked the 44th anniversary of the BE 100s, the magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s top 100 black-owned businesses. At the top of the list stood World Wide Technology, which, since its founding in 1990, has grown into a global firm with more than $7 billion in revenue and 3,000 employees. Then came companies like Radio One, whose 55 radio stations fan out among 16 national markets. The combined revenues of the companies that made the BE 100s, which also includes Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, now totals more than $24 billion, a nine-fold increase since 1973, adjusting for inflation.
A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals that these pioneering companies are the exception to a far more alarming trend. The last 30 years also have brought the wholesale collapse of black-owned independent businesses and financial institutions that once anchored black communities across the country. In 1985, 60 black-owned banks were providing financial services to their communities; today, just 23 remain. In 11 states where black-owned banks had headquarters in 1994, not a single one is still in business. Of the 50 black-owned insurance companies that operated during the 1980s, today just two remain.
Over the same period, tens of thousands of black-owned retail establishments and local service companies also have disappeared, having gone out of business or been acquired by larger companies. Reflecting these developments, working-age black Americans have become far less likely to be their own boss than in the 1990s. The per-capita number of black employers, for example, declined by some 12 percent just between 1997 and 2014.
What’s behind these trends, and what’s the implication for American society as a whole? To be sure, at least some of this entrepreneurial decline reflects positive economic developments. A slowly rising share of white-collar salaried jobs are now held by black Americans, who have more options for employment beyond running their own businesses. The movement of millions of black families to integrated suburbs over the last 40 years also is a welcome trend, even if one effect has been to weaken the viability of the many black-owned independent businesses left behind in historically black neighborhoods.
But the decline in entrepreneurship and business ownership among black Americans also is cause for concern. One reason is that it largely reflects not the opening of new avenues of upward mobility, but rather the foreclosing of opportunity. Rates of business ownership and entrepreneurship are falling among black citizens for much the same reason they are declining among whites and Latinos. As large retailers and financial institutions comprise an ever-bigger slice of the national economy, the possibility of starting and maintaining an independent business has dropped. As the Washington Monthly has pointed out, market concentration has played a role in suppressing opportunity and in displacing local economies. Other studies, including a report published last year by President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, have substantiated these developments….Read the Rest Here…
The author of this piece believes that men should always pick up the check on the first date. Have to disagree with this analysis, for a couple of reasons based on several scenarios.
Met through Online Dating Service – Many people now meet through dating services online. Their first date is indeed the first time they have seen each other in person. Statistics show that these dates typically occur within 7-14 days of meeting online. The so called “Starbucks Date” really is a first meeting. Splitting the check in my view is appropriate, in that this may be the first and last date based on mutual chemistry. Everybody having skin in the game tends to keep both sides honest. Have met women who lied about their age, lied about their looks, and lied about their background – and from feedback from women, that is certainly true on the guy’s side as well.
Picking up the check on any subsequent date is appropriate, based on who initiates it. And no, I for one am not dropping $300+ to go to a five star restaurant until I am sure that interest is returned.
Met in Person – If a guy meets a woman through Church, work, club, or social contact – then the guy should pick up the check. You have developed some chemistry and interest. You asked her out. Showing appreciation is appropriate. What you do after that is a mutual decision. Since I tend to date women who are professionals themselves near my age bracket, they tend to want to establish their independence through either sometimes picking up the check or contributing. I don’t expect it or require it to continue the relationship – but doing so establishes a level of mutual respect, interest, and financial responsibility in that I know every dime she earns isn’t going into those $300 High-heel sneakers, or cute little BMW out in the parking lot. If she is after a long term relationship and not just sex – then I know she is checking me out on the same basis.
Aside from whether men should hold the door for women, few seemingly frivolous issues have fanned the flames of anti-feminism as much as who should pay for dates between men and women. It’s a subject that seems to never die — see yesterday’s Guardian feature on “Paying while dating” — because there are always a subset of men who insist that it’s absolutely unfair that as the world has gotten closer to gender equality, men are still expected to pick up the check. A 2014 NerdWallet studyfound that 77 percent of over 1,000 U.S. respondents expected men to pick up the check on a first date. Most likely, they will continue to be—perhaps not forever, but certainly for the here and now.Why? News flash: it’s not about the money, it’s about what the money signifies. “The man should pay on the first date, always. It’s meant to set the tone—that this is and was a date, not a networking opportunity or a new friendship,” founder of online dating concierge service eFlirt and author of “Love @ First Click,” told Salon. “It speaks to a man’s values and shows that he is a gentleman. Most first dates are just a few cocktails, so this shouldn’t be a burden for men. Beyond a first date, the rules change a bit though and it depends on what you do together. For example, if it’s dinner and an after-dinner cocktail for a second date, it’s great for the woman to pay for the cocktails at the second destination. Or, she could plan and pay for the third date. Ultimately, paying the bill on a date shows appreciation. It’s a gesture to let someone know you’re interested in them and appreciate them. That’s why I never suggest splitting the bill. A date should feel like a treat and it doesn’t when it becomes an accounting transaction.”
I have to agree based on my own experience. Showing you’ve thought about the other person is what matters, and on a first date, paying is a way to do that. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can choose an inexpensive date so that you can cover the costs. I once went on a date to a free comedy show with a guy I met online. There were plenty of reasons the date was disastrous—think dead silence for up to ten minutes at a time—but the real rock bottom moment for me was when I said I was going up to the bar to get a drink and asked if he wanted anything (I wasn’t that thirsty but needed to break the tension). He said no but when I returned and reported that the bartender had generously comped my seltzer, he said he wished he’d known or he’d have ordered one! In that case, I was the one offering to pay, but instead of taking me up on it, he made himself seem like an extreme cheapskate. (Guys: don’t do this.)
Yet the who-should-pay decision is a conundrum, as dating and relationship expertWendy Newman, author of “121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily After (Really!),” calls it, one that often leaves both men and women not completely satisfied. “When a man pays for a string of dates for strangers and experiences entitlement or isn’t thanked or appreciated for these efforts it can burn him out. When a woman isn’t treated, often times she doesn’t feel special or cared for,” said Newman.
As further proof that it’s not about money, Los Angeles-based dating expert and radio personality Erin Tillman, who’s single, says “I’ve been on coffee dates with guys where they didn’t pay for my coffee.” That is definitely not the way to go if you want a second date—with Tillman or most women. Based on her own dating history and her clients’ experiences, Tillman told Salon, “if he doesn’t offer to pay, it’s definitely a turnoff.” As she sees it, “It sets a guy up for success. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to ruin your chances of dating someone.” She suggests the guy pay for the first month, or until you’ve established that you’re in a committed relationship.…More…
Right on the tail of the Cain sexual harassment story, comes the Cain…
Campaign Finance debacle.
Moving money between a charity and a political campaign is definitely illegal, a big no-no – and should result in prosecution.
But the thing that caught my eye was near the bottom of the article – where it is reported that Cain paid $100,000 to speak to a black conservative organization. In the strange world of black conservative front organizations – “Cornbread“, didn’t get paid to speak as you would normally expect…. Cornbread had to pay a black conservative group $100,000 to listen to him!
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, whose candidacy is under siege followingsexual harassment allegations, also faces new questions about financial ties between his fledgling campaign and a private charity launched by two of his top aides.
Citing interviews and internal financial documents, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reportsthat a Wisconsin tax-exempt charity called Prosperity USA footed the bill for about $40,000 worth of iPads, chartered jet services and other expenses as Cain’s campaign got off the ground this year.
Expenses totaling $37,372 are listed in the group’s financial records as “due from FOH,” or Friends of Herman Cain, the name of his campaign committee. It is not clear whether Cain repaid the alleged debts, which are not listed in his personal or campaign disclosures.
Such payments are forbidden under federal tax and election laws, because nonprofit charities are not allowed to participate or donate money or services to political campaigns, according to election-law experts.
“It looks like a law school exam on potential campaign-finance violations,” said Lawrence H. Norton of Womble Carlyle, former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission. “Many of these payments would be prohibited contributions under federal election law.”
Prosperity USA was founded by Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, and Linda Hansen, deputy chief of staff. Block launched Prosperity USA and a related group after he had headed the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a tea party-aligned organization based in Washington.
Block said Monday that the campaign has requested an independent investigation of the allegations. He did not provide further details.
“As with any suggestions of this type, we have asked outside counsel to investigate the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s suggestions and may comment, if appropriate, when that review is completed,” Block wrote in an e-mail…
Cain began taking donations for his then-quixotic presidential campaign in January. Bank records cited by the Journal Sentinel show Prosperity USA paid for $15,000 for a trip to Atlanta, $17,000 for chartered flights and $5,000 for travel and meeting costs in Iowa, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas and Louisiana. The newspaper also said the Cain campaign was billed $3,700 for iPads purchased Jan. 4.
Records obtained by the Milwaukee newspaper also appeared to show a $100,000 payment to the Congress on Racial Equality, a conservative black group, shortly before Cain served as the keynote speaker at the group’s annual dinner, the newspaper said. The expense was apparently covered by $150,000 worth of loans to Prosperity USA by unidentified supporters, the report said…
Well – the Tea Baggers were successful in screwing the country after all. Look for your interest rates to rise on everything from your mortgage to the cost of a new car.
Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. government’s “AAA” sovereign credit rating Friday in a move that could send shock waves through global. The following is a press release from Standard & Poor’s:
– We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.
– We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.
– The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.
– More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
– Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.
– The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.