Showing posts with label US Black Chamber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Black Chamber. Show all posts

Friday, June 30, 2017

State of Black Business Report - Dallas 8/22

The State of Black Business will inform members and community leaders on the climate, condition, and trends of African American business.  The Keynote Speaker, Economist William Michael Cunningham, is the founder of Creative Investment Research and serves as Managing Partner for National Crowdfunding Services. The Forum is a critically important forum to discuss and design a plan for greater economic impact within our communities. You will want to join this discussion with black business leaders from around the city!

Invitees to this event will include elected officials, corporate sponsors, community leaders, DBCC Board of directors and select Chamber members.

August 22, 2017

2711 N. Haskell
Dallas, Texas 75204
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

State of Black Business Registration:  (Early Bird Special) $75 Member/$100 Non-Member

Monday, June 19, 2017

Liberty Bank, SBA and US Black Chamber Loan Guarantee Program by Kari Nelson, Impact Investing Intern, University of Virginia

On Wednesday June 14, New Orleans-based Liberty Bank, a black-owned bank, announced that it is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) to guarantee loans for black business owners.

The groups hope this partnership will boost access to capital by solving one problem many black business owners experience – they cannot get capital when they need it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2014 only 47% of black business owners who requested funding from banks got the full amount requested, compared with 76% of whites. Statistics such as this are discouraging, and black business owners feel disheartened by the situation – with 57% of black business owners who don’t seek capital citing fear of being rejected as their reason. The credit gap is obviously a huge issue for black business owners and there is a lot of room for improvement in how banks and the Government address the issue. This new initiative by Liberty Bank with the SBA is an attempt to address this issue more effectively.

On June 14, I attended USBC’s School of Chamber & Business Management and heard the Senior Vice President of Liberty Bank & Trust Company, Ann Duplessis, discuss this new initiative. It was obvious that she and Liberty Bank are excited about the venture and confident that it will make a difference, and from the positive response she was got from the audience, you could tell that many of the business owners in the room had either experienced or were familiar with the capital-access problem black-owned businesses face and felt that this might be the answer they’d been waiting for.

Some basics (according to Biz New Orleans):
In order to apply, a business owner must be a member of their local black chamber of commerce.
Loans can range from $5,000 to $100,000.
Loans can be used for equipment financing, business debt refinance, leasehold improvements, and working capital.
The program will be piloted in 11 cities nationwide.

This program seems promising. SBA-backed lending shields banks from riskier loans – a label given if the bank has low capital or if the business owner has a low credit score or business revenues – so banks can lend to small-business owners who may not quality for more traditional business loans.

SBA-backed lending makes perfect sense as a means to address the credit gap between white and black business owners because statistically black-owned banks and black business owners are more likely to have the characteristics that would lead a loan to be labeled as riskier. This leads to a significant disadvantage for African-American businesses trying to access capital and thus leads to the credit gap.

It seems to me that the solution, SBA-backed lending, perfectly fits the problem: the loan risk factors present in black-owned banks and businesses and the resulting credit gap. I’m optimistic that this pilot program by Liberty Bank, the SBA, and the USBC may help close the credit gap by giving more black business owners the confidence and the means to request and receive funding.  

(For more information call Ann Duplessis at Liberty Bank and Trust at (504) 240-5182, or email - ed.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

“Stay Faithful”: Senator Cory Booker at the U.S. Black Chamber by Austin Wu, Impact Investing Analyst, University of Maryland

During today’s (6/14/17) U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce meeting, I had the honor of listening to a very emotional yet encouraging speech by the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, Senator Cory Booker.

Senator Booker attended Stanford University, where he played college football and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science, along with a Master’s degree in sociology. Later, he attended the University of Oxford and upon returning to the United States, earned his Doctor’s degree from Yale Law School. He was the 36th Mayor of Newark, in office from October 2013 to July 2016.

Despite his outstanding background, both academically and politically, he never moved out of his neighborhood, a small and crowded black neighborhood in Harrington Park, New Jersey.

His parents, Carolyn Rose and Cary Alfred Booker, were among the first black executives at IBM, and the tradition of excellence his parents represents makes Senator Booker believe that, given the opportunity, black children will perform just as well as white children. Holding to this belief, he devotes his life to building a better society for minority and women, helping them grow up in an environment with more opportunity, seeking to change the fact that, although black makes up 12% of the entire population in the United States, only 3.6% of the startup businesses are led by black.

The theme of his speech was “Stay Faithful.” Senator Booker gave several examples from his life, clear testimony of the distant, yet crucial, social equality factors affecting minorities and women.
He gave stories that highlighted the experience of growing up in a minority neighborhood, the sound of gunshots and police car sirens facilitating his transformation from childhood to adulthood. He noted that despite the much higher violence rate, mainstream media rarely reports the social problems within his neighborhood. The lack of concern, along with the stereotype of disorderliness and poverty in black neighborhoods, has created a barrier to success that hides the genius and talents within those neighborhoods.

Senator Booker wants to use his influence to help minority neighborhoods flourish. Carrying the idea of fixing the chaos forward, Senator Booker tells the story of meeting Miss Virginia Jones, a community leader in Newark, and offering, eagerly, to help. “Tell me what you see. Describe what you see around you” she asked. After Senator Booker answered using words like: chaotic, messy and unregulated," she replied: “Boy, if that’s all you see, you can never help me. The world you see outside of you is a reflection of what you have inside of you. And only when you see hope, opportunity, possibility love, then you can help me make a change”

Another story Senator Booker concerned his parents. The Booker family once wanted to buy a house, but was told by the real estate agency that the house had been sold. They later found out that the house had not been sold. Feeling unfairly treated, the family hired a lawyer and approached the agency, demanding a proper response. When his father's lawyer and his father approached the agency, the agency's owner punched the lawyer and sicced a dog on Booker's father. (As the Senator noted, with each telling, the dog seemed to get larger.) It is woeful events like this that shaped Senator Booker’s mindset: to strengthen black people’s social position and to promote social equality.

But, as old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. People may lose faith and question their abilities to change their social status.

In closing, Senator Booker cited his father, who said poverty is not measured in monetary value, but by your determination to turn the bad around you into the good.

All you have to do, once on the right path, is to stay faithful.