Well, in the state of Alabama, we know the answer.
|Even with the world famous Tuskegee University, black owned businesses generate just 1 percent of the corporate revenue in the state of Alabama contribute -- then again, they can't even keep a Walmart open in Tuskegee...|
Ready for it?
One percent of corporate revenue in the state of Alabama (the state is roughly 70 percent white and 26 percent black) is generated by black-owned businesses.
Now do you understand why in the 74 percent black city of Birmingham, payday loan, title pawn, and check cashing stores are the only growth industry? [Where is today's A.G. Gaston? Black Birmingham businessman would be worth $300 million in today's money, Al.com, 3-22-13]:
Robert Kelly, founder of Birmingham-based Kelly Construction, vividly remembers the time he was asked to serve as a consultant for a large Birmingham company that wanted a more diversified work force.
“I didn’t see one person who looked like me until I walked into the board room,” said Kelly, who is black. “And that person was cleaning up.”
Half a century after the events of 1963 served as impetus for the dismantling of Jim Crow laws, African Americans still are striving to reach the pinnacles of corporate Alabama and corporate America. In Alabama, African Americans make up 26 percent of the population but own 15 percent of the state’s businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
More striking, black-owned businesses in the state generate just 1 percent of corporate revenue, said Bob Dickerson, executive director of the nonprofit Birmingham Business Resource Center.
While African Americans undoubtedly have made great strides in business in the last half century and Alabama has many accomplished black executives, no one has come close to matching the success of the greatest black entrepreneur in state history, A.G. Gaston, who built his multimillion-dollar business empire under the boot heel of segregation.
Published accounts from the time indicate that Gaston was worth about $40 million, or nearly $300 million in today’s currency. He owned a bank, a business college, about a dozen funeral homes, radio stations, a construction company, an insurance company, a motel and a restaurant, among other businesses.
Stephen Craft, dean of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo, said the disadvantages with which black entrepreneurs are burdened in Alabama are fundamental, but not insurmountable.
If the state’s biggest corporations more actively seek out minority-owned partners in deals, he said, capital will flow back into black businesses, ultimately creating more opportunities for black entrepreneurs and leveraging a strength that has been underutilized for generations. The state’s economy as a whole would benefit, he said.
“We’ve been competing with one economic hand tied behind our back,” Craft said.
While government contracts typically include a clause mandating a level of minority participation, few businesses can survive on government work alone, Kelly said. For the black business community to advance, there must be partnerships with private industry, he said.Actually, black people not only don't have one economic hand tied behind their back, they have a whole army of lawyers working for them in the government - Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and the EEOC) and government-backed agencies (Minority Business Development Agency) whose sole purpose is to help create minority-owned businesses.
In fact, the White House held an "urban business forum" back in March of 2012, where one of Barack Obama's key advisors - Valerie Jarrett - praised the city of Birmingham for having :
"a strong local mayor (William Bell) who believes in helping small businesses grow and thrive, community involvement and a strong educational system."Birmingham's almost entirely black city council banned new payday loan, title pawn, or check cashing stores from opening in 2011, and the Birmingham City School system is perhaps the worst in the nation.
During that same economic forum, Mayor Bell made it clear that the only way minority businesses can be created in Birmingham (and the state of Alabama) is via federal/state intervention
[White House offers help for urban businesses at Birmingham forum, Birmingham News, 3-6-12]:
Bell said as mayor he is committed to giving minority businesses the assistance they need to thrive. During the forum, he announced the creation of The Build Birmingham Bonds, a program that will spend $75 million from a new bond issue to boost entrepreneurship and increase the number of minority firms involved in building infrastructure and city-led construction projects.
"We are determined to move Birmingham forward," the mayor said. "This is the beginning of making Birmingham the great city we know it can be."
Chuck Faush, Bell's chief of staff, said the Build Birmingham campaign will be a catalyst for giving minority entrepreneurs the capital and business capacity they need to be successful. Besides partnering with Seedco, a New York-based nonprofit secondary lender, he said the city program wants to work with big banks and other small secondary lenders.
Minority contractors that get work with the city often can't produce the desired results due to lack of cash or manpower, Faush said. "This program will enable minority businesses to be able to do what they say and be successful, which stimulates job growth," he said."One economic tied behind their back," is perhaps the best way to describe white business owners/potential entrepreneurs in not just Birmingham and Alabama, but the entire nation when you factor in the federal involvement in propping up minority businesses development -- all with the redistributed tax dollars of white tax payers.
That A.G. Gaston was able to amass a fortune by catering to the black community - during those evil days of segregation - and that not one black individual has replicated his success after the liberation of black people following the Battle of Birmingham (1963) speaks volumes to why the so-called "Magic City" is truly the "Tragic City" since the water hoses of one Bull Connor were turned off.
Recall you read about the historic Fourth Avenue black business district of Birmingham that had fallen into economic ruin following integration.[Fourth Avenue business district, booming under segregation, still works to rebound 50 years later, Al.com, 3-17-13]:
After more than a decade of despair in the historic district, Birmingham in 1979 elected its first black mayor, Richard Arrington, and the district’s champions found their advocate. Arrington helped to create a land bank, a nonprofit holding company that could buy real estate from its white owners and then sell it to its black tenants or investors, backing the deals with low-interest loans. The same land bank was empowered to award grants in the form of rebates to new landowners who made improvements to storefronts.
Land owners in the district still can qualify for rebates of up to 20 percent of what they spend on exterior improvements. Private investment in the district has totaled $4.5 million since Urban Impact began tracking it in the 1980s, including $300,000 last year. And in its 30-year history, the land bank program has never had a bad loan.Wow! A whopping average of $150,000 in private investments per year over the course of Urban Impact's 30-year history.
Astonishing, when you realize Urban Impact is a non-profit created with the specific task of only funding black businesses and employing black people in mind:
Urban Impact, Incorporated, was created in 1980 to assist local political and business leaders with their vision to restore the business and cultural vitality of Birmingham’s Black business district, located primarily on 4th Avenue North. Urban Impact exists to preserve the dynamic cultural significance of the Historic 4th Avenue Business District, while promoting business retention and new development opportunities in this segment of the City Center, located in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District.What's the actual economic foot print of this government-back adventure into racial socalism/favoritism in Birmingham of Urban Impact?:
Urban Impact, Inc. is a technical assistance agency to the merchants and residents that comprise the Historical 4th Avenue Business District. It was assessed by the staff that for every $100,000 the City has funded Urban Impact, $1 million of investment was stimulated in the area by the merchants. During the construction of new commercial properties and the renovation of existing structures, it was determined that:
- More than 1,900 construction jobs were created;
- 203 jobs were created;
The 4th Avenue Land Bank Program was instrumental in increasing minority ownership by 97 percent.
- 102 jobs were retained with an average of 85% minority participation during construction
Economic Impact Data
Investment Data *
|4th Avenue Merchants||$ 4,470,475|
|Property Owners, public & private sector|
(UDAG, HUD & COB)
|Federal Courthouse construction||$30,000,000|
|U.S. Office Marshal’s Office construction||$10,000,000|
You have to be proud of Urban Impact, making such strides in securing federal money to build new government buildings and call it "economic progress."
Considering black people have been the majority of Birmingham's citizens since the early 1980s, does that mean Urban Impact has seen 85 percent white participation in those construction jobs?
Of course not -- even when blacks take over a city government and become the numerical majority of the inhabitants of a city, they will always identify themselves as the minority.
A "minority," mind you, who is responsible with only generating ONE PERCENT of the corporate revenue in the state of Alabama.
What... what... what in the world would the proud citizens of Alabama do without the economic contributions and innovation provided by the black population?
Urban Impact, indeed.