REBLOG (3.23.12) On the destruction of black wealth… via auntada:

Photo caption (June 1973): Black balloon salesman on South Side Chicago’s 47th Street. Many of the city’s black business owners started with small operations such as this and grew by working hard. Today Chicago is believed to be the black business capital of the United States. But blacks have a harder time staying in business than their white counterparts. Statistics note that 80% of black businesses do not survive two years. Racial prejudice, lack of capital and expertise are partly responsible.
DOCUMERICA Project for the Environmental Protection Agency: John H. White, photographer

This photo, and the decades-old data behind it, brought to mind a piece I read last week by former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in The American Prospect titled The Destruction of Black Wealth. 
Here’s what he wrote:

For many small African American businesses, and for countless entrepreneurs like Charles Walker, the downturn has been ruinous. The inevitable reduction in demand from a customer base struggling disproportionately with joblessness and the home-foreclosure crisis came at the same time as a drastic curtailment in access to capital for most small businesses. For black businesses, already chronically undercapitalized, the one-two punch was often fatal.
Small businesses generally get started and survive their early stages with capital drawn from the personal assets—mainly savings and real estate—of the business owners, their relatives, and friends. Home equity is a common source of collateral for small-business loans. With substantially lower levels of wealth and homeownership to begin with, blacks have a much harder time putting together start-up capital, and they find it more difficult to hang on during rough patches in the economy. The Great Recession was much worse than anyone’s idea of a rough patch.

And then this:

It’s a mistake to think there was much of a flourishing black business sector even before the recession. Walker’s supermarket, which probably would have survived and might have thrived if the economy had held, was unusual. More than 90 percent of black-owned businesses are one-person affairs—the owner is the only employee.

It is an uncomfortable truth that when the media talks about the struggles for small businesses in this economy, this sort of breakout analysis is rarely done. This has the effect of making the already complicated and over-broad forecasts we read or hear about in the news even more difficult to decipher. (Posted by Jeff Severns Guntzel)

REBLOG (3.23.12) On the destruction of black wealth… via auntada:

Photo caption (June 1973): Black balloon salesman on South Side Chicago’s 47th Street. Many of the city’s black business owners started with small operations such as this and grew by working hard. Today Chicago is believed to be the black business capital of the United States. But blacks have a harder time staying in business than their white counterparts. Statistics note that 80% of black businesses do not survive two years. Racial prejudice, lack of capital and expertise are partly responsible.

DOCUMERICA Project for the Environmental Protection Agency: John H. White, photographer

This photo, and the decades-old data behind it, brought to mind a piece I read last week by former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in The American Prospect titled The Destruction of Black Wealth

Here’s what he wrote:

For many small African American businesses, and for countless entrepreneurs like Charles Walker, the downturn has been ruinous. The inevitable reduction in demand from a customer base struggling disproportionately with joblessness and the home-foreclosure crisis came at the same time as a drastic curtailment in access to capital for most small businesses. For black businesses, already chronically undercapitalized, the one-two punch was often fatal.

Small businesses generally get started and survive their early stages with capital drawn from the personal assets—mainly savings and real estate—of the business owners, their relatives, and friends. Home equity is a common source of collateral for small-business loans. With substantially lower levels of wealth and homeownership to begin with, blacks have a much harder time putting together start-up capital, and they find it more difficult to hang on during rough patches in the economy. The Great Recession was much worse than anyone’s idea of a rough patch.

And then this:

It’s a mistake to think there was much of a flourishing black business sector even before the recession. Walker’s supermarket, which probably would have survived and might have thrived if the economy had held, was unusual. More than 90 percent of black-owned businesses are one-person affairs—the owner is the only employee.

It is an uncomfortable truth that when the media talks about the struggles for small businesses in this economy, this sort of breakout analysis is rarely done. This has the effect of making the already complicated and over-broad forecasts we read or hear about in the news even more difficult to decipher. (Posted by Jeff Severns Guntzel)

(via heytoyourmamanem)

One man’s dream: threatened by grief, saved by community

By Neal Karlen (1.27.2012)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Today, political morticians of most every genus are finishing their dissections of this week’s State of the Union Address. Yes, the conventional wisdom now conventionally goes, Obama occasionally played political chess. Yet more seriously, he seemed to have confronted the quandary of whether or not the American Dream of owning a home, sending one’s kids to college, and retiring in dignity had evolved into a pipe dream, reserved for Americans who come to the table with pockets already bulging with chips.

One of the President’s closest observers is Taylor Cash, 56, owner of “Taylor’s,” a British Petroleum gas station located in a residential neighborhood just off the interstate in Raleigh, N.C. Last year, a broken heart last year almost destroyed his own version of that American dream – in his case, building and maintaining a thriving family business. 

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