All Articles Tagged "black owned business"
The 2013 State of Women Owned Business Report, produced by American Express OPEN, shows that the number of women-owned businesses across the country has gone up 59 percent since 1997. But even more impressive, the number of female entrepreneurs launching their own businesses has more than doubled in that same time period, jumping 112 percent.
The Athens Banner-Herald takes a closer look at the trend in that state, finding that the new female lifestyle is playing role. Women are waiting longer to get married and start a family, leaving more time to launch a business when they’re younger. But women who have also raised their family and built a career are waiting to act on their entrepreneurial spirit.
“According to the study, minority women-owned businesses have gone from fewer than a million nationwide in 1997 to 2.67 million today. Almost one in three women-owned businesses is run by a minority,” the article continues. Georgia also leads in the number of businesses owned by black women. On the flip side, Alaska ranks dead last for states with women-owned businesses. A woman business owner quoted in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says it’s because the top industries in Alaska tend to favor men, areas like mining and oil engineering.
To help promote women-owned businesses, the Small Business Association along with AMEX OPEN has just launched ChallengeHER, a national campaign to advance government contracting to women in business. According to information we received (and available here), the program will include free workshops, mentoring opportunities, and access to people who can sign off on those contracts.
For the past few years, Harlem has been experiencing gentrification, with national chains and high-end stores opening, apartment rents rising, longtime residents moving out, and famed, culturally significant businesses such as the Lenox Lounge, Hue-Man Bookstore, and Harlem Vintage closing.
Now, according to Black Enterprise magazine, the Harlem Business Alliance has announced that it will put a $700,000 three-year grant toward opening a Small Business Support Center. This will be in an effort to help current small business survive the changing landscape of neighborhood, which until recently was mainly African American. According to the New York Times, blacks are no longer the majority in Harlem.
And white-owned businesses are moving in. As The Network Journal reported, the jazz hot spot, The Lenox Lounge closed after the owner could no longer afford the rent. Restaurateur Richard Notar has now moved in with a new eatery. Notar is a managing partner of the popular Japanese Nobu restaurant chain.
The alliance is using a grant from the Community Economic Development Program issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will partner with IncubateNYC. The partnership aims to offer shared office space and other business incubation services, among other things. “The center will focus on assisting local shops with the skills and tools they need to stay afloat. Emphasis will especially be placed on teaching marketing, bid preparation, payroll and other crucial operations that many business owners have little to no experience in,” reports BE.
According to the latest stats, black businesses are booming. The number of American businesses in general have increased by 18 percent, and black-owned firms have expanded by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million between 2002 to 2007, more than triple the national rate according to U.S. Census data, reports the Examiner.
According to the government definition, a black-owned business is a firm with African-American owners holding a 51 percent or greater stake in the business. All of the black businesses in the U.S. accrued $137 billion in sales and receipts, and comprised 7.1 percent of businesses nationwide in 2007, compared to only 5.2 percent in 2002. Most black businesses are small. According to National Urban League president, Marc Morial, and data from Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Businesses, 87 percent of all black-owned firms earn less than $50,000 a year in receipts.
Certain industries are heavily saturated with black owners, such as health care and social assistance (19 percent of black-owned businesses), repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services (another 19 percent of black-owned businesses), and administrative and support, waste management, and remediation service industries, which comprise 11 percent of black-owned businesses, according to Examiner.
And there are various cities and states where black business thrive.
As of 2007, the four cities with the most black-owned businesses are: New York City (154,929); Chicago (58,631); Houston (33,062); and Detroit (32,490).
Detroit has the highest percentage of African-American-owned businesses within the city’s limits at 64 percent.
The three states with the most black-owned businesses, as of 2007, are: New York (204,032); Georgia (183,874); and Florida (181,437),
A new African-American-owned Beverly Hills jazz club is making some noise. H.O.M.E. (House of Music & Entertainment), one of the few black-owned jazz clubs around, is becoming a hot spot in Los Angeles.
Owned by aspiring drummer Dennis “D. Anthony” Robertson, H.O.M.E. opened only weeks ago, in November. Robertson, who got his start promoting acts at B.B. King’s at Universal Studios before delving into management, aims to make H.O.M.E. (which has the cool website HOME90210.com) the premier venue for jazz in Los Angeles.
Located just a block from tony Rodeo Drive, H.O.M.E. is in the heart of Beverly Hills. The venue has 250-plus seats, and so far it’s holding its own against competitors such as the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood and Herb and Eden Alpert’s Vibrato in Bel Air.
Robertson takes the music seriously. He has some of the best sound engineers in town working full time at the club. “The club recently acquired a Yamaha Concert series piano, which is more than seven feet long and rivals any found around here,” according to L.A Weekly.
He has been able to attract a consistent clientele not only because of the music and location but also the food. Robertson describes his approach as “combination of an intimate concert setting and true fine dining,” which, he tells the newspaper, L.A. lacks. Robertson lured in a noteworthy chef, Shawn Davis, to design the menu, which includes entrees like caviar-chive salmon and rack of lamb.
H.O.M.E. offers a weekday jazz lunch (with solo piano) and is planning a Sunday afternoon “Jazz Mystery Theater” with music and audience participation.
If you check it out, let us know what you think.
Black businesses in New York City have received a much-needed boost. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council have removed various barriers for minority- and women-owned business enterprises by signing into law Introduction 911-A, which will expand city contracts.
This will help small businesses, especially minority- and women-owned firms, as the new law eliminates the $1 million cap on programs eligible for contracts set forth by Local Law 129 signed in 2005. That law was meant to boost opportunities for black and women-owned businesses. It also calls for increased city procurement contracts in areas of goods, professional services, construction, standard services, and architectural and engineering services.
This move is similar to efforts made in Chicago. As we reported in October, black businesses in the Windy City were awarded more city contracts in recent months — 21 percent this year up from just eight percent last year.
If the push in the Big Apple goes as expected, black businesses in the city should see a significant boost. According to a press release, the new law “is estimated to triple the total value of contracts from $433 million to a projected $2.2 billion.”
The city is also planning to track the effort to ensue that progress is being made. There will be a tracking system for contracts in order to weed out non-compliant M/WBE (minority and women business enterprise) firms. An accountability program, states the press release, will include mandatory meetings for agency leaders to assess progress on the M/WBE goals and efforts to increase participation.
The Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff , first VP of 100 Black Men and co-chair of The New Agenda, said in a press statement, “Local Law 911-A marks a bold step for the rights of minority- and women-owned businesses.”
Nationally, according to TheStreet.com, the government has missed its stated 23 percent goals for small business contracts, especially for women-owned companies, for the past six years. New legislation signed on the 3rd by President Obama hopes to boost that. If you’re a small business owner, check out the details for being considered in that story.
With competition tight as businesses vie for fewer consumer dollars, any extra help black businesses could get in attracting customers was welcomed. Black businesses have been reaching out to clients via text alerts. A new website called Ujamaa Deals focuses on increasing black product sales online and then there was the debut of a special smartphone app that locates black businesses at your location. And as we reported, The Around The Way app allows users to locate the black-owned businesses in their vicinity, so they can do a little shopping in the community.
“The response to the app has been great. The majority of the comments are from people who want the Android version, which we plan to launch this month,” Janine Hausif, CEO of Around The Way App, tells us. It’s currently only available for the iPhone. “The rest of the comments we’ve gotten have been praise and suggestions. Overall it’s been great. It’s very much like people are helping to shape and mold this app and that’s exactly what we want — for people to make it their own.”
According to Hausif, since the app’s launch in November 2012, they have had over 5,500 downloads. The data bank includes more 17,000 black-owned businesses. It is free for businesses to join.
One of those businesses is Therapy Wine Bar in Brooklyn, NY. For Angela Terry, owner of Therapy, adding her store to the app directory was a no-brainer. “I wanted to get more exposure for my business,” says Terry, who was introduced to the app by Hausif and was one of the first business owners to add her business to the app. “It’s a good idea because as a small business owner we need so many free and affordable outlets to advertise on,” she told us via email.
And, said Terry, she did see a boost in business after joining the app. After shopping, more people stopped into the eatery. “We did see an increase in foot traffic as well as customers talking about the app,” she says.
Imagine having access to the more than 1.9 million black-owned businesses in the United States at your fingertips? A company called Around The Way, which is based in New York, teamed up with Washington, D.C.-based mobile-app development firm Clearly Innovative to create a mobile app that will locate black-owned businesses in your area.
The companies say they hope the Around The Way app will support and empower black-owned businesses, especially around this all-important Christmas shopping season. The app, which is available only for the Apple iPhone right now,can be downloaded from the Apple app store.
While the app doesn’t have all of the black-owned businesses in the U.S. yet, it does contain a substantial number and there’s a spot on the app’s website where you can add your business. “The app can locate 17,000 black-owned businesses in all 50 states. Many of the businesses are located in New York City, and other major metropolitan areas,” Eric Hamilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Around The Way wrote in an e-mail to The NorthStar News & Analysis.
To increase the number of black-owned businesses in the database, Around The Way is partnering with the New York African American Chamber of Commerce and other black chambers to encourage owners to download the app. By doing this, owners can encourage users to patronize their businesses.
“Around The Way’s sole purpose is to empower black-owned businesses by altering the point of purchase of potential customers… This newly available mobile application allows users to find the closest black-owned business in their vicinity with colorful maps and pinned locations,” Around The Way officials told The NorthStar News & Analysis. “Users can choose from nine-different categories of businesses to locate.” They are: ATM/Bank, Auto, Bakery/Café, Beauty Parlor/Barber Shop, Club/ Lounge, Laundry/Dry Cleaners, Lodging, Restaurants and Shopping.
With the nation’s sentiment turning somewhat sour about Black Friday (many complained that store openings on Thanksgiving night intruded on the family gatherings for both shoppers and workers) the time was right this year for Small Business Saturday. Add to that the focus on small businesses — supporting them was a big talking point during the presidential election — and you have buzz for the day unlike any that’s likely been experienced in the past.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg announced today that a matching grant program worth $5.5 million will be available for small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. A total of more than $45 million in loans and other financial assistance will also help.
President Barack Obama and the rest of the White House has been crowing about Small Business Saturday on Twitter today. The President and the First Daughters Sasha and Malia were out shopping today at a local Arlington bookstore (he bought 15 children’s books, according to Reuters) to support the day.
And American Express — which founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 — and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills were on the Today show yesterday talking up the opportunity to shop at local businesses. (Video below.)
Widely reported numbers say that small businesses created two out of three jobs in this country over the past 20 years. American Express founded the day three years ago and says more than 100 million people came out last year.
For black businesses, Small Business Saturday could be just the thing to jump start businesses. Pointing out the many difficulty that black retailers have — from the troubles with financing, lack of a strong network, or old-fashioned racism — The Huffington Post’s Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson talks with entrepreneurs who are trying to capitalize on the special day and all of the digital avenues available to small business owners nowadays.
“It drives traffic both to our Internet business and to our brick-and-mortar business,” Jamyla Bennu, owner of Baltimore’s Oyin Handmade, told the website.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the black community (“the number of black-owned businesses in the U.S. increasing by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007,” HuffPo quotes the Census Bureau’s latest Survey of Business Owners), but the means to get businesses off the ground or stay afloat aren’t always there.
The Grio provides a list of small black-owned businesses that you can try out for Small Business Saturday and beyond. Did you shop at a black-owned business today?
The Grio has been focusing on black-owned businesses and, more specifically, some of the issues facing these companies. One of the common complaints that the author, Lawrence Watkins, saw across social media in response to his story is this: “Customer service is terrible with black-owned businesses.”
“Although this is definitely not true for many black businesses, it is an area in which we need to pay special attention,” writes Watkins. Good customer service breeds more business and customer loyalty, he continues. People who are “very satisfied” are more likely to come back and spread the word to others about the quality of the service.
The story lays out the barriers to good customer service: stressed out owners and workers who wear a number of different hats; arguing with customers in “tense situations”; and a failure to go the extra mile beyond the sale, giving the customer a good experience overall.
It ought to be said that any of these issues could plague a business owned by anyone from any background. But the fact is if there’s a perception that black businesses specifically are more prone to these issues, it could preclude that business’ success.
Is this an undeserved reputation for black-owned businesses? And please take to the comments to talk up the great customer experiences you’ve had with a black-owned business.
Get ready beauty supply store professionals. If you haven’t heard already, the annual Beauty Supply Entrepreneurship Summer Conference is coming up soon in Atlanta, Georgia on August 4, 2012.
The Beauty Supply Institute was founded in 2007 as Taking It Back University. It was founded by Devin Robinson, who realized he needed to establish his own business after he was threatened by one Korean store owner wielding a golf club. Not only has the company produced the best-selling book, “Taking it Back: How to Become Successful Black Beauty Supply Store Owner,” it also helps African Americans start their own beauty supply stores. To assist participants, the company offers about 20 courses, business plan development and location selection services. Each year it trains hundreds of individuals in different methods and strategies to break into the $15 billion beauty supply store industry, which although heavily patronized by the black community, consists on only about 3 percent of black ownership.
“We’ve opened stores with as little as $35,000,” Ulysses McLea, the Beauty Supply Institute Field Operations Manager said in a press statement. “Myths out there would lead Blacks to believe they need $100,000 or more. You can open a fully functioning store with this amount and be widely successful. Since working with BSI for the past 3 years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the magic our approach produces. I get the most joy when I hand the keys over to new owners and witness their appreciation and excitement about being new owners!”
Currently, of the about $13,300 beauty supply stores nationwide, about 400 are black-owned.
Maggie Anderson, co-author of “Our Black Year” and a strong black business supporter, is working in conjunction with Robinson to increase black business support. She will also act as the opening speaker for this year’s conference.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Bar Owners, Party Throwers & DJs: African-American Women Making It In The Nightlife Business
- How She Made It: Maria Lee-Driver Discusses The Success of Her Skincare Line Oria’s O’Shay’s
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Shafonne Myers, Founder and Owner of Pretty Pear Bride Magazine
- Behind the Click: Shellye Archambeau, CEO of MetricStream
- Do Black Designers Skip Over Black Models to Gain White Customers?
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire