National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., moderated a discussion that focused on black businesses during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington.
The panel’s theme was “Nation Building Through the Black Business Community: The Next 50 Years.”
Hosted by Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Dwight Evans, panelists included Rob Busby, Sr., the President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers; Economist and former Bennett College President Dr. Julianne M. Malveaux; Black Enterprise Senior Vice President and Editor At-Large Alfred A. Edmond, Jr.; and The Enterprise Center President, Della Clark.
The discussion centered on the various needs of black businesses. And, it was blunt.
“In the black community, black businesses often get caught up in getting business loans but not paying attention to the cost of the loan,” Busby said. “If you don’t have enough money when you start your business, that’s a factor of failure. African Americans are paying 19.85 percent interest for credit while white people [who often have worse credentials] pay 10 percent,” he said.
Sitting next to Congressman Evans in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which was teeming with politicians, Busby slammed the federal government.
“The government is the biggest spender by far,” Busby said.
“They can tell you what they spend in the LGBTQ community, they can tell you what they spend in the white community, they can tell you what they spend in [other] communities. But, ask them what they spend on the African American community, and it’s very difficult to get an answer,” he said.
Malveaux said economic envy has always been the biggest obstacle in building black wealth. “Economic envy prevented black people from accumulating wealth, and this is why the reparations story is an important story,” Malveaux said.
“Economic envy is what lynching was about. It wasn’t about sexual relationships, Ida B. Wells documented that,” she said.
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Source: Black Press USA