Credit and capital are the lifeblood of the American economy. If black-owned banks lack credit and capital black America will remain economically anemic. More deposits means higher revenue. Higher revenue means more investment in black life. More investments mean stronger black businesses. Stronger black businesses mean higher black employment rates. That means more homeownership, community investment and business development. But, economic empowerment is a two party effort.
Black owned- banks must do more to attract black customers. They can’t just show up to church and expect our loyalty. Black owned blacks could offer free children’s savings accounts to schools and churches that serve minority populations. Banks could also advertise in black media. And, sponsor events that matter to us.
Chicago’s Ariel Investments is a perfect example of business excellence and community outreach. Ariel consistently ranks as one of Black Enterprise’s largest black-owned asset management firms. The firm balances great profits and great service. It runs a charter school. It also produces a radio show on a black-owned station. They also sponsored The Color Purple’s theatrical run.
After black-owned businesses produce competitive products and serve us, it is our responsibility to give them a fair shot at our business. We could consider directly depositing 10 percent of our paychecks into black banks. We could purchase life insurance from black insurers and companies. We could also invest for retirement with companies like Ariel. As they grow, we grow.
We could strengthen black America one deposit at a time.
Zachary Raynell Rinkins is the host and producer of “It’$ Payday”, an AP award winning 90-second personal-finance lifestyle radio show produced for Rinkins Media Ventures, Ltd. You can read his blog at http://www.ItsPaydayBlog.com