Sow Entrepreneurship Reap Employment

Black business growth over the last decade hasbeen substantial, but is it enough to change thelarger employment picture for African Americans?

Executive Vice President and COO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “It’s got to be something where they say this makes sound business sense, and if I invest in X, I may get a return.”

Brimmer adds that African Americans should not abandon the notion of government as a source of stimulus for the growth of black-owned businesses. “But I agree the environment is not hospitable and will be less so in the future.” grimmer also believes the growth rate of minority businesses will slow down, but “black firms will become more e
fficient. For each dollar of growth in sales, they will require a smaller proportionate input of employment because they, too, will become more efficient. It will not require as much labor for the black firm, down the road, to generate a certain volume of output.”
So where will black-owned businesses be in the future? Are they prepared to jump boldly into the next millennium? And are they the key to the economic survival of black Americans? There are no definitive answers only more questions. But where we want to be as a collective is clear, the board concluded. The burning question is how best to get there.

“What I would like to see is a BLACK ENTERPRISE buying the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal,” says Swinton. “We want to own our own Chrysler. We’d like to have Chase Bank. That’s my vision of where we end up at the end of this 30- or 40-year period of policy changes. So that when you look out there, in proportion to our numbers in the population, you are just as likely to see a black CEO, as you are to see a black who owns a Fortune 500 firm. That’s the key to our success.”

Brimmer predicts a modestly improved economic situation in ’97
Expect little change in your employment outlook or financial status over the next several months as the economic picture appears dull for the remainder of 1997, says Andrew F. Brimmer, chairman of the D. C. Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority in Washington, D. C. “As far as the growth and composition of gross domestic product are concerned, I’m forecasting that 1997 will be almost a carbon copy of 1996.”

Brimmer, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board, says there will be little activity because there are no real tensions in the economy at the present time. “There are no shocks on the horizon. There is no outburst of inflation that needs to be corrected. There is not likely to be any sharp decline in demand that would produce a sharp rise in inventories, which would have to be corrected. I see no major changes in the availability of credit. That’s why I said that 1997 is likely to be a year of tranquillity.”

Brimmer does predict there will be some modulation with the residential fixed investment. He predicts a modest decrease in this area because housing starts will decline from 1.5 million units in 1996 to

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