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EXPANDING BLACK BUSINESS CREDIT INITIATIVE CLOSES $29M FOR THE BLACK VISION FUND

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The Fund Will Increase the Pipeline of Funding for Black-owned Small Businesses 

The Expanding Black Business Credit network (EBBC) officially announced today the final close of its Black Vision Fund. The fund will lend long-term funds to six successful Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with long histories of inclusive investing in order to expand their lending activity to small businesses in underserved communities. A primary goal is to reduce the racial wealth gap that plagues the Black community.

“The Black Vision Fund is the result of a network of Black-led/focused loan fund CEOs collaborating to create a fund that will demonstrate that there is a large market opportunity that has been neglected, which is the growing number of successful Black-owned small businesses in the country,” says Gary Cunningham, President and CEO of Prosperity Now.  Black Vision Fund’s CDFI network servicing a variety of markets across the country includes MEDA, Community First Fund, City First Broadway Bank, Black Business Investment Fund, Hope Enterprise Corporation/Credit Union, and National Community Investment Fund.

EBBC members are experienced Community Development Financial Institutions with more than $1.5 billion in combined total assets who currently help support entrepreneurs and small businesses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and California.

The fund will be managed by LISC New Markets Support Company (NMSC), an affiliate of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and benefits from an anchor contribution from EBBC made possible by a significant grant from Wells Fargo. Additional funding partners include Amalgamated Bank, Ceniarth, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). All of these funders have contributed long-term, low-interest loan capital to the Black Vision Fund which will be on-lent to participating CDFIs.  The CDFIs, in turn, will provide financing to eligible small businesses operating in or benefiting disadvantaged communities, including Black-owned small businesses.

According to the U.S Federal Reserve, while Black-owned businesses were more likely to apply for bank financing, less than 47% of their applications were fully funded. The data found that Black-owned businesses were two times as likely to be turned down for loans as white business owners. Building on EBBC’s commitment to create thriving business ecosystems that strengthen Black-owned small businesses, Black-led nonprofits, and the Black-focused/led CDFIs that help them to succeed, the Black Vision Fund invests in CDFIs serving as a lending intermediary between funders and disadvantaged small businesses throughout the country. 

“Black-led and Black-focused financial institutions locate and invest in Black communities at much higher rates than white-owned financial institutions,” says Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Credit Union in Jackson, Mississippi. “The CDFIs supported by the Black Vision Fund will provide vital capital that will accelerate the growth of Black-owned small businesses.” 

Greater investment in Black-led or Black-focused financial institutions and businesses would have an historic impact on the racial wealth gap and expanding access to credit for Black business owners. Financing Black businesses increases the net worth of families of owners, creates local jobs, provides needed local goods and services, and ultimately contributes to supporting economic growth in Black communities. 

To learn more about EBBC and Black Vision Fund, please visit ebbcfund.org About EBBC 

Expanding Black Business Credit (EBBC) was formed in 2016 as a CEO Peer Learning Network by leaders of Black-led/focused Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to share best practices in lending to Black businesses and prove that there is an attractive market of Black-owned businesses that can be financed by the financial services industry and thereby reduce persistent inequalities of wealth, income and opportunity in Black communities.

They created a report to prove the value of equalizing lending to Black-owned small businesses and developed the Black Vision Fund to execute on it.About Black Vision Fund 

The Black Vision Fund (BVF) approves and invests loans in EBBC member Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that will then provide financing specifically to Black-owned small businesses. It is a vehicle that helps corporate and philanthropic investors put their capital to work to address racial and socio-economic disparities, fueling CDFIs with long histories of inclusive investing and deep connections to the communities they serve.

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Madam C.J. Walker Doll Newest In the Collection

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Madama C.J Walker joins the likes of Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, and Rosa Parks. The Barbie® Inspiring Women™ Series which pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before adds the Madam C.J. Walker doll to its collection

Madam C. J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a Delta, Louisiana cotton plantation. The daughter of parents who were formerly enslaved and became sharecroppers, Walker would become a successful entrepreneur and the nation’s first documented self-made female millionaire. Barbie® honors her unflinching determination with a collectible doll, sculpted to her likeness. Complete with a “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower” accessory, Madam C.J. Walker Barbie® doll makes a stunning addition to any collection. A doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity are included.

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HEB Hiring: On-site Interviews August 23rd

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On-site interviews will be available at career fairs held at all H-E-B, Central Market, and Mi Tienda stores in Texas.

H-E-B, the state’s largest private employer, will host a one-day hiring event geared to help fill full- and
part-time positions at the store level. For this effort, which is the retailer’s largest ever one-day hiring event, H-E-B will provide on-site interviews at career fairs held at every H-E-B, Central Market and Mi Tienda store in Texas.

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*Candidates who attend will receive on-site interviews only for open positions at the store they visit.

Stores will hold a career fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Candidates who attend will receive on-site interviews only for open positions at the store they visit. An online application must be submitted before interviews are conducted. To expedite their experience, candidates are encouraged to complete an application before attending. Applications and details about open positions can be found at careers.heb.com/careerfair. For interviews, translators and disability accommodations will be available upon request.

These in-store career fairs will focus on hiring for all store hourly roles such as Curbside, checkers, produce and deli representatives, artisan bakers, kitchen production, cooks, meat cutters, overnight stockers, store sanitation, True Texas BBQ restaurants, and more. While roles, such as checker and in-store shoppers, will start at $15 per hour, starting pay for specific roles are listed in their respective job descriptions, which can be found on the H-E-B Careers site. You must be 16 years or older to apply for customer service associate, checker, Curbie, and Curbside in-store shopper opportunities. Other store positions have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.

H-E-B continues to grow its business across all areas of the company, maintaining its push as an economic driver for Texas. Across the state, H-E-B continues to open new stores, expand its omnichannel offerings, and grow within existing locations, furthering the need to add talented Partners dedicated to take care of Texas and provide customers with the best shopping experience. Currently, the company employs more than 145,000 Partners.

Regularly recognized as a top employer in the nation, H-E-B will provide training, competitive pay, and a robust benefits package that includes 10 percent off H-E-B brand products, and career and leadership development. Once eligible, Partners can become a company owner through the H-E-B Partner Stock Plan, can participate in 401k with company match, and sign up for medical, dental and vision plans, among other benefits. 

“At H-E-B, our success starts with our amazing Partners, who work hard every day to serve Texans across the state,” said Mayerland Harris, H-E-B Group Vice President of Talent. “As we grow, we’re committed to hiring more people who are excited to provide our customers and communities the best H-E-B has to offer, in our stores, online, and through passionate community service.”

Soon-to-open H-E-B locations such as PlanoFrisco, Willis, and Magnolia will not participate in this one-day career fair. People seeking opportunities at soon-to-open stores can find openings and apply for those jobs via the H-E-B Careers site.

As H-E-B continues to expand its network across the state, additional opportunities also are available in manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, e-commerce fulfillment centers, corporate, and H-E-B Digital.  Details about additional job opportunities in all areas of H-E-B’s business are available at heb.com/careers.

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Black Life Texas

Black Chamber of Commerce Uplifting Businesses

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August is #National Black Business Month and this is an opportunity for Black businesses to be celebrated, supported, and promoted for the milestones Black-owned firms have accomplished.
Being a business owner is hard work and luckily entrepreneurs have national and local chambers of commerce looking out for their best interests.

Recently the United States Black Chamber of Commerce (USBC) came out with its 2022 BlackPrint publication that lists some of its main priorities. The annual publication is provided to give the U.S. Congress and corporate decision-makers a blueprint to support Black-owned businesses.

Some of these priorities include reforming the federal 8(a) program, which was created to give opportunities to minority businesses. However, the program has been dominated by female-owned firms. USBC said if Alaska Native Corporations in the 8(a) program are given an advantage in Alaska over other underserved business owners then this model can be used for Black-owned businesses in other states. USBC would also like to see the expansion of opportunities for Black-owned cannabis businesses. Although cannabis dispensaries (medical and recreational) are fully legal and operational in over 33 states, an overwhelming majority of cannabis businesses are white-owned.

. . . Texas has the largest Black population among the 50 states and the third most Black-owned businesses.


Another priority includes increasing Black-owned companies in radio and TV. According to the Federal Communications Commission in 2019, 77% of AM radio stations were owned by white operators, while only 3% were owned by Black operators, 7% were Hispanic-owned, and 3% were Asian-owned. Only 2% of commercial FM broadcasters are Black compared to 77% of stations owned by white broadcasters. The figures for television ownership are no different. USBC says without Black representation in the media, Black voices and stories cannot be elevated to the extent of those that white-owned stations receive.
USBC adds the Federal government should institute a nationally-recognized Black-owned business certification which they believe would help federal and local governments increase their business with Black companies, contractors, and suppliers. USBC also wants the Black business community to lead global trading initiatives throughout Africa to capitalize on burgeoning economic opportunities in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

At the state and local levels, Black businesses also can turn to the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) and two San Antonio Black chambers of commerce.

TAAACC is a 32-year-old organization formed by 24 Black chambers of commerce operating in Texas to advocate on their and their member’s behalf. TAAACC says Texas has the largest Black population among the 50 states and the third most Black-owned businesses. Despite this presence and the huge sums of money expended to deliver government services to Texans, Black-owned businesses come in virtually last in contract awards from state agencies. TAAACC said that’s why it’s important to have a network of Black business organizations to combat these glaring disparities.

In San Antonio, it’s estimated that only 5% or a total of 9,985 firms in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro area are African American-owned. The overwhelming majority (95% or 9,500) of Black-owned firms are non-employer firms without paid employees. Only 485 Black-owned firms or 1.5% have employees – which is much lower than the 7% share of the population that is African American. Thankfully the city has two chambers of commerce encouraging Black entrepreneurship.

The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1938 as the Negro Chamber of Commerce when 12 men and one woman, Miss Euretta K. Fairchild, decided to form an organization to address the business needs of the Black community in San Antonio. The San Antonio Negro Chamber of Commerce was formed as an outgrowth of a program by the local chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s “Bigger and Better Business” week.”

The African American Chamber of Commerce of San Antonio (AACCSA) was founded in 1993 by a group of African American business owners and consumers seeking to improve the economic status of Black business owners and the African American community. The vision was to form an organization that would advocate on behalf of emerging and established businesses, help to create new market opportunities, provide access to capital, and revitalize African American communities.

Both these organizations, along with the national and state Black chambers of commerce, play a pivotal role in uplifting Black business. Alamo City and African American chambers host many events and learning workshops for San Antonio businesses to compete at higher levels.
To learn more about the Alamo City Chamber visit (AlamoCityChamber.org) and to learn about the African American Chamber, go to (AfricanAmericanChamberSA.org).

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