States are competing to support black businesses with loans, credits, training and policies notes sixth annual State of Black Business report
SAN FRANCISCO – Governors and their states are aggressively competing to attract and expand the more than 1.2 million African-American owned businesses, reports Walls Come Tumbling Down: State of Black Business, Sixth Edition, an annual study by eAccess Corp.
Six states are providing loans, guarantees and credits to address access to capital; several are holding special workshops in coming weeks on how to gain contracts from stimulus spending, three jurisdictions are creating a regional certification program and one state is encouraging other states to enhance supplier diversity by requiring comparability with its own certification program.
The report can be ordered online.
John William Templeton, executive editor of blackmoney.com, said the project has identified eight key attributes which affect the fortunes of black-owned businesses. “We’ve seen a sea change among state leaders to understand the importance of black businesses to economic development at the community level,” said Templeton. “Each of our top ten states is making a serious effort to be accountable, visible and effective.”
The most important factor identified by business owners themselves is access to capital for cash flow and growth.
Other criteria are: real-time monitoring of supplier diversity; direct line of authority for minority business development; executive leadership; rate of growth of entrepreneurship; development of large-scale industries; embracing cultural heritage tourism opportunities and ratio of black/white self-employment.
For example, Gov. David Paterson’s administration recently launched a new website “http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov” geared towards growth of the 100,000-strong black business sector, largest of any state.
Walls Come Tumbling Down provides a state-by-state ranking based on those key attributes. Maryland is the top-ranked state, followed by Ohio, Virginia, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Missouri, Oregon, District of Columbia, Delaware, Minnesota, Nevada, Alabama and Kentucky.
New Jersey, Minnesota and District of Columbia moved out of the category of states found “unfriendly to black-owned businesses” in the fifth edition of the State of Black Business, Trouble in the Air, in 2008.
The remaining states in that category in 2009 are California, Nebraska, Louisiana and Michigan.