Black people are 22% of NYC's population.
We own less than 2% of its businesses and we receive less than 2% of NYC and NYS agency contracts.
WE ARE BLACK AND PROUD!
The growth of Black-owned businesses has a direct impact on reducing unemployment, homelessness and crime. The financial state of Black-owned businesses directly correlates to the quality of life for our children, families, and community. A Black Business Empowerment Forum – No More Excuses was held in Harlem on Friday, December 13th, 2019 and follow-up focus group sessions were held in Harlem on Saturday, February 22, 2020. This website and all of the initiatives put forth herein represent the outcome of a community’s economic vision for itself in an act of self-determination. The aim is to develop and grow financially sustainable Black businesses in New York City from 2% to 22% by 2022.
It is our expectation that those elected to represent the districts in which we live at the city and state levels will consider our needs over others and endeavor to put forth legislation, policies and the capital dollars needed to remove the structural roadblocks that prevent Black-owned businesses and organizations from obtaining substantive contracts and funding at New York’s State and City levels.
WEG is currently working with our Primary Partners to develop and deliver a plan for Black Business Empowerment to those seeking elected office in 2020. By doing so, WEG seeks to arm elected officials and leaders with a strategic action plan and reparative measures for rapidly repositioning Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs for accelerated economic growth and development. No more excuses and talk about the data—WEG demands action now!
Black Business Empowerment
What is the Plan?
Given the dire economic condition of the Black community; Black community organizations, churches and business owners have come together to put forth a Plan for Black Economic Empowerment
in New York City and State that posits legislative, policy and funding remedies. The aim is
to develop and grow financially sustainable Black businesses in New York City from 2% to 22%
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis,
New York’s Black business community had been battling prohibitive government procurement policies, gentrification, and ineffective legislation that resulted in the demise of thousands of Black businesses. Four (4) key areas critical to the survival of NYC's Black community are 1) Govern-ment Procurement and Contracts, 2) Business Resiliency, 3) Houses of Worship as essential workers and 4) Affordable Housing.
The Black Tax, the cost of being Black in America, has resulted in
a state of crisis for Black businesses. This crisis is symbolic of "canaries in the mine" as noted by Charlene Rhinehart in July 2019 Black Enterprise article – Black Wealth May Fall to Zero by 2053. The facts make it clear that Black businesses are dying, and in need of an intentional strategic plan before they become extinct
in the 21st century.
The Black community cannot afford the luxury of supporting politicians that do not support the Black community. Many politicians have been in office for 10, 15 and 20+ years, yet the physical and economic health of the Black community is largely stagnant and in a state of decline. They want us to believe our current state rest on Donald Trump’s back and ignore the fact that they were there long before Donald Trump even thought about becoming president. Those who are unwilling to acknowledge and feign ignorance of the dire state of Black businesses are not deserving of the Black vote. The Black vote is valuable; please do not just give it away!
Congressional Black Caucus or is it the Congressional Minority Caucus?
On March 20, 2020, the Congressional Black Caucus
sent a letter to House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer with the stated purpose of offering proposals to assist Black people as Congress negotiated the third COVID-19 funding package totaling $2T.
The letter proposed 94 initiatives totaling approximately $450 Billion. Only 3 of the 94 initiatives spoke directly to Black people.
The other 91 spoke to ''small' and 'minority' owned businesses. Lastly, only $10 Million of the $450B was asked to be designated for Black businesses across America. That amounts to $3.86 for each of Amerca's 2.6M Black-owned businesses. Yeah! You
got it - $3.86 each.
2020 and 2021 Elections
Black businesses in America are deserving of more because some had a 400 year head start and others just got here! Elected officials must put measures in place that will ensure the economic health of the Black community during and after the current COVID-19 crisis. NY’s Black business community which includes the faith community and non-profits is watching. The degree to which COVID-19 emergency and recovery spending reaches us will be our litmus test for NYC, NYS and Federal candidates seeking political office during the 2020 and 2021 election seasons.