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King Taharqa

Charlotte Chamber Of Commerce studying Minority Businesses

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Although the majority of African-American-owned companies are at least somewhat satisfied with doing business in Charlotte, some say the city’s “cliquish” business environment can make it hard to advance.

That’s among the findings of a study released Tuesday that also suggested ways minority business owners can break through, including communicating better with one another, and developing stronger relationships with banks.

The Charlotte Chamber, UNC Charlotte and Pride Magazine conducted the study to identify ethnic minority and women-owned businesses throughout the region.

The study’s organizers hope to use their findings to help these businesses advance.

“You can’t make progress unless you know where you are,” said Dee Dixon, CEO and publisher of Pride Magazine. She said it’s important to understand the issues these businesses face.

Mecklenburg County is home to more than 27,000 women-owned businesses, and more than 22,000 minority-owned companies. They represent a range of fields, from retail, to construction, to accommodation and food services. The ethnic minority data includes African-American, Hispanic and Asian entrepreneurs.

African-American businesses say Charlotte is a good location for them because of available work space and affordable rents. But a lack of start-up financing, problems with attracting clientele and perceived discrimination present challenges, the study found.

“The way that you do business in Charlotte,” according to a focus group participant quoted in the study, “is very different than other places, because here it’s who knows you, not who you know.”

Other steps the study suggested include creating a database of support services for small businesses; boosting training and education programs; and banks stepping in to provide more help. One example cited by the study is Durham-based Latino Community Credit Union, which has been increasing its micro lending program to boost small businesses.

Some of the issues cited in the study have come up before.

The Democratic National Convention has spurred new efforts to bring minority and women-owned businesses into the fold. Last year, some minority businesspeople formed a coalition led by civil rights attorney James Ferguson II to push for economic inclusion of minorities in convention work.

In March, DNC organizers announced a goal to spend at least one-third of contract dollars with businesses owned by a diverse range of groups, including minorities and women. But the coalition has said it believes DNC organizers are still not transparent enough about who is being awarded convention-related contracts.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/07/18/3388070/minority-businesses-are-focus.html#storylink=cpy

If Charlotte ever wants to be a major city and not just a glamorized small township it will need to diversify and be more embracing of multi-culturalism. Relying solely on the "good old boy" network will not get us to that level.

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I don't think it relies only on the good ol boy network but I think it is a bit of an issue.

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The good ole boy network is what got Charlotte to where it is today.

Charlotte has been very fortunate to have brilliant business minds that elevated the cities profile. They have advanced Charlotte to the point that the good ole boy network is no longer necessary to be successful.

Charlotte has more Fortune 500 companies than several cities much larger in size.

Charlotte's rise as a major business center in the U.S. is nothing short of amazing really.

People think of Charlotte as only a banking center, but Charlotte actually has a very diverse industry base. Manufacturing, banking, energy, engineering, transportation, and retail all have a huge numbers of employees.

Multi-culturalism is not a pre-requisite to success. In fact, based on the multi-culturalism experiments in European cities, it precludes long term success. The problem with multi-culturalism is it is treated like a one way street. The majority accommodates the minorities, but the sentiments are generally not reciprocated. Unless this changes multi-culturalism will not lead to success, it will preclude success.

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Charlotte is the 2nd largest financial center in the entire country behind NYC. Hardly a small township.

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I don't think it relies only on the good ol boy network but I think it is a bit of an issue.

The problem is you have an influx of people from different cultures moving here and working here, and what you will find is some of the "Good old boy" institutions that thrived 20 years ago before that influx will not survive in the "New Charlotte". Take the Nascar HOF for example. Nascar is an industry that has deep roots in this city. Yet people who just moved here 2 years ago from up north or further south even don't visit it. Its a commercial flop in what was thought to be a great market for it. Not embracing multi-culturalism and continuining to ignore the people who make up our city is not beneficial. There are other southern cities that do a much better job of maintaining their roots while at the same time being more open to different ideas and businesses. This is how you create "CULTURE", something Charlotte desperately lacks.

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That has everything to do with NASCAR being shitty and nothing to do with not enough black businesses because of some perceived "old boy network" holding them back.

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Yet several black magazines cite Charlotte consistently as one of the best cities in America for black business owners...

Funny you mention Nascar.

Nascar's failures are their own. They tried to change the sport to appeal to changing demographics in the U.S. and it flopped. By trying to gain new viewers they pissed off their fan base and didn't attract the new followers they hoped to attract. It's actually a great example of an attempt at forced multi-culturalism failing.

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Nascar is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. Ratings are up this year after a couple of down years. And even in the down years, they still did better than the NBA and NHL.

Fwiw, there is certainly nothing wrong with taking a look at how things could be improved irt minority business, but I don't think a major culture change would be a good thing for Charlotte.

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Charlotte is the 2nd largest financial center in the entire country behind NYC. Hardly a small township.

The city is totally dependent on an industry that needs government bailouts every other year.

Ask Detroit how that turns out.

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