July 4, 2021

A Black business agenda starts in the most unlikely of places…

For too long Black business has been an afterthought even within the community. Suddenly, in the most unlikely of places that’s changing…

Two months ago, San Francisco passed, with a bunch of hoopla, a 20 million dollar relief measure for the Black community. 

But lost amidst the government patting itself on the back was that less than ten percent of the budget went towards Black businesses. 

The art programs got more support than the business community in 2021… 

There was no pushback or real voice within the San Francisco Black business community bringing this to light. 

But fortunately, the Black business community of Mobile, Alabama had a bit more sense. 

Recently in Mobile, the city and its republican Mayor tried to pass a $58 million rescue bill without any real oversight. 

Mayor Stimpson trotted out the usual Republican talking points: crime and protection for the city.

But Black business leaders called out the fact that nothing had been allocated towards rescuing Black businesses, and worse yet, the city had tried to push the bill through without any deep study of its line items. The mayor tried to secure the signing of the bill from proposal into law in the space of weeks. 

Teresa Bettis of South Alabama Economic Roundtable
"We see some large dollar figures, but what are the breakdowns on that and where is the money actually being spent?” -Teresa Betis

I don’t know the politics of Mobile, Alabama and there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly special about its circumstances. 

It’s a southern city plagued by the all too typical problems of crime and a lack of racial equity. In response, the government pushes the all too typical solutions. 

But when was the last time we heard a Black business community asserting itself and calling into question where the government’s money really went? 

For too long, every other voice in the Black community, the Church or the activists, have dictated the conversation between the government and the public. But where is the voice of the Black business owner? 

It seems like the business owners of Mobile, Alabama found their voice at just the right time.

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