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The Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee held its third annual roundtable to discuss the wealth gap. According to the Pew Research Center, there’s a yawning wealth gap between blacks (average household net worth of $5,677) and whites ($113,150 average household net worth).

To close that gap, the roundtable focused on entrepreneurship and small businesses. Among the suggestions — strengthening contract programs for minority businesses and access to resources, for example — there’s one that stood out.

“Convince Americans that closing the wealth gap is good for everyone,” writes The Business Journals.

“Helping more African Americans succeed in business shouldn’t be viewed as ‘a form of charity,’ said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, whose city has become a Mecca for minority-owned businesses,” the article continues. “Instead, the growth of black entrepreneurship benefits the economy as a whole because of the jobs that are created.”

This idea is so critical. When a segment of the population trips, we all go down. The country benefits from having strong businesses across the board. And it’s obvious from the research what we’ve been reporting that, among African Americans, there’s a strong entrepreneurial streak that should be nurtured. (Rather than just broadly declaring that whole swaths of the general population are “victims” who “don’t pay income tax.”)

The article does note that it’s not just promoting small business ownership, but helping these businesses grow so that they can hire employees. Given the interest in business ownership, this is an economic avenue that the black community is interested in pursuing. Read more about the roundtable here.

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