The Stimulus Plan Must Give Minority-Owned Businesses and Minorities a Fair Shake

segments of society are prospering, everyone benefits.  Prospering minority communities help the majority prosper, too.  And private enterprise offers the surest route to prosperity for minorities.

Minority-owned businesses hire and train minorities in their communities.  They show young people that hard work and responsibility pay off.  Both business owners and their employees spend money in their communities, further invigorating them.  Every dollar that a minority-owned business earns probably has a bigger positive impact than one earned by a majority-owned business.

Diversity and more competition are good for everyone.  As Barack Obama’s historic election demonstrated, the vast majority of Americans are willing to put aside old prejudices and judge someone by their accomplishments and their potential, not the color of their skin, their race, or religion.

Minority-owned businesses are diverse, too.  They range from tiny startups to some of the most highly respected businesses.  They’re in every industry—from local merchants to banks, insurance, and cutting-edge technology.  Minority business owners are young and old, male and female, black and Hispanic, Asian-American and Native American.

The stimulus program will pump some $800 billion into the economy over the next two years. Ultimately, most of it is expected to go to businesses that will rebuild our infrastructure and create renewable energy resources, as well as to the firms that provide services to them—from accounting to food service to insurance.  If minority-owned businesses don’t receive their fair share, President Obama would be wasting a golden opportunity to accomplish the many changes he has envisioned for our great country.

Ernesta G. Procope is chairman and founder of E.G. Bowman Co. Inc., a leading minority-owned insurance brokerage in Manhattan.

Pages: 1 2

  • Pingback: The Stimulus Plan Must Give Minority-Owned Businesses and Minorities a Fair Shake |

  • I am so proud of President Obama and his tenacity within the first few weeks of office. I really appreciated what he said “People have to continue to innovate, look for new customers, try to find creative ways to turn crisis into opportunity, retool for the future.” This is exactly how I feel! I believe that many of us Americans, especially those of us of color have a special opportunity to be part of the solution. I believe we can do exactly what our president wants us to do and be innovative. We can trailblaze our way into paving a whole new era of success and prosperity that will inevitably play a part in helping the country regain strength, stamina and healing.
    I am motivated as I have started a “Trailblazing” new company and am producimg an amateur play this coming August. Good job Mr. President. And I promise to make you proud by playing my part, participating in, and being part of the solution.

    Imani Olubajo,
    Registered Agent of:
    F.A.I.T.H. Unlmtd (Families Acentuating Inter-related Teamwork Harmoniously)

  • John Clarke

    The silence in the Black community on the issue of how much of the stimulus package will go to Black businesses has been deafening. What small portion of the stimulus that does filters through the various agencies into various set-aside buckets for tiny projects (e.g. et another janitorial project to sweep the VA building) will eventually spread among the various minority and front-minority companies with even less going to Black businesses.

    Someone once said that if Blacks got reparations, they wouldn’t know how to handle it. It seem the same may be true with the Presidency and the opportunity that hasn’t presented itself like this in the 500 years we been in this country.

    We need to make this our primary concern before they try to decide to portion out our rightful share of the stimulus package through another set of dependency-laden social welfare programs.

  • Eric S Williams

    As someone who will be launching several buisness endeavers in the next 15 months i understand the pressure and concerns of many minority business owners. One of the major facotrs that we find ourselves lagging behind in is the inside information of our specific areas of business. Often times we go into these projects with a try try again attitude and accept our first failures as a natural by products of being an enteprenuer. If we could make more of a community attempt to share trade secrets in our areas of expertise we will drasticly cut down on these critical mistakes. As a minority busienss owner we often only get one chance to succeed in any given field of businss. Lets be more cooperative in our willingness to help foster success so that we can build a legacy for our next genereations based on community success not individualized gains.

  • Struggling Enterpreenuer

    I am a Nigerian-American (one generation) and have lived in the country for 20 years! After graduating from college and earning my bachelors and masters degrees here, I worked for various companies and then started a marquis brand in IT security/forensics consulting.

    We have grown our business and succeeded because of direct networking contact and year-over-year business referral with so-called “Whites.” It’s been very difficult to get business from Black decision makers anywhere! I hope to change this as we continue to grow — that’s why I entered into business.

    So yes, I buy the idea that the stimulus should trickle down to everyone/business, but would every minority in position deal the stimulus to others???

    Here’s what I think the long-term solution lies:

    – Everyone should get highly educated and remain ethical, that way we can grow professionally and control certain areas of their careers — i.e. be a mover-n-shaker to some degree. I am not talking about Oprah Winfrey or other heavy weights. I go to all of these Federal buildings and I see a lot of brothers and sisters simply just having a job, instead of taking night courses to get a degree.

    – Learn to share wealth with others — not just your race but others period. Again, since our business inception, I have received no “viable” or “tangible” business opportunity from people of my “race.” Is this because Blacks aren’t decision makers? No No No! These people would rather funnel the business elsewhere — preferably other race. This’s got to change.

    I have stubbornly been reluctant to apply for 8(a) partly due to the connotation that your company would not survive without the program. This would change quick because there are a lot of 8(a)’s run and own by Caucasians.

    If anyone wants to debate this, let me know and I’ll provide a contact info.

    If I sound like I am bitching; sorry, but, we need to empower ourselves and others. Give other companies a fair chance. If you are a decision maker, then give businesses of different ownership a fair chance. You may not receive a quid quo pro, but your children or their generation may benefit directly or indirectly.

    Ranting off…

  • jody carter

    How can I receive a grant to expand my business?