Economic Development is enhancing the factors of productive land, labor, capital and technology of a national, state or local economy. Economic Development involves reconstructing and growth of an economy to enhance the financial well-being of the people that live within a community. It is the center of a nation’s master plan for continued prosperity and existence. Our Black communities have been gentrified and were left out of the economic wealth of our own neighborhoods for a number of reasons including a lack of ownership and a bias system set on excluding us. In order for sustainable change to take place we must be involved in the economic opportunity that takes place around us every day. Economic Development in our communities consist of accountability that Black owned businesses receive local contracts fueled by our tax dollars. We have been excluded from city and national contracts by the nation which fulfills a minority requirement; the minority business status also includes other ethnic groups such as white women. Transparency must be demanded of all major projects within the community to prevent exclusion of crucial decisions concerning where we live, as well as, the rights of first refusal of business opportunities within our boundaries. Supporting Black owned business growth by ensuring that land, commercial real estate, and various economic initiatives are being presented to increase the revenue of our businesses. We must guarantee that our businesses are obtaining the benefits first rather than outside corporations or big business chains that don’t assist in the longevity our communities. Identifying those who do not have the best intentions of our neighborhood residents and local business growth plan for long term success and preservation, will have a set of guiding principles in order to gain our support.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?
City contract apparatus that specifically targets Black businesses for primary/ Sub-contracting opportunities. (Black owned businesses receive less than 5% of government contracts locally and nationally, our cities exclude us by giving these opportunities to Minority business owners but that status has been watered down with many other ethnic groups including white.)
Full transparency of projects within the community. (Projects take place in our communities without our approval and does not benefit the residents of the neighborhood.)
Support Black business growth. (Supporting Black Business growth by giving them opportunities within the community, rather than inviting in outside corporations or large chains to service us.)
Identify violators of Community Reinvestment Act committed by local banks and multinational banks. (Financial institutions in our communities have not reinvested in the residents with home ownership, small businesses, or to help revitalize and rebuild as it was intended for.)
Create list of potential community development projects and a list of relevant local economic anchor institutions. (In order to hold city officials accountable we must create a list of Black owned businesses that are able to fulfill the opportunities presented.)
A progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth. (We must make sure our elected officials are always advocating for a fair tax code that does not take advantage of the average women and man.)