To My fellow Black Business Owners:
The Atlanta Black Chambers is here to speak out against racial injustice and bigotry of all kinds in remembrance of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd as they represent the most recent tragic examples of our country’s disregard of African American humanity. We denounce the police brutality that has eroded public trust across the nation: racial disparities causing destruction, depriving all of us the freedom to live our daily lives in prosperity free from anxiety.
Collectively, we are overwhelmed with a barrage of emotions. At the same time, we recognize that whether it be slavery, redlining or police brutality, African Americans have been a tool of American economics instead of a welcomed participant. It is at this moment that we must champion the issues of equity and inclusion and send a message that it is time for us to close the racial wealth gap. Even with all the contributions made before us in this generation, we have more work to do. African Americans are at the bottom of the ladder consistently. This fact is intergenerational and universal in the United States.
Our chamber’s mission is to serve as an advocate for the creation and growth of competitive, profitable, and sustainable Black-owned entities. As business owners, we can influence and make a positive impact in the country while gaining economic control of our community. Opening the door for Black business owners and making it equitable leads to the wealth needed for our community to access quality education for quality jobs.
The time is now for us as business owners to wield the power that we must influence change, including our young voices, many of whom are active in the racial justice protests. We are extending the conversation to the public to confront this issue with ongoing discussions, using our platform as a place to amplify our voice to realize real-world results.
Simultaneously there is an achievement gap where many of us do not receive the best education possible to matriculate onward to higher learning institutions. Our lack of ownership – real and perceived – is wreaking economic havoc, and police brutality as a bullying tactic only exacerbates our ills. It is up to us to make changes in our community that benefit us by demanding for transformational public policy change that benefits our Black community.
According to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances:
- The median Black household’s net worth is $17,600 while the median net worth for White households is $171,000. Black business owners unfortunately, do not fare better.
- The annual revenue for Black businesses is $58,118 in comparison to nonminority White business owners who generate $552,079 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.
- Black household income averages just over $41,000 compared to White households who average over $87,000.
- The home ownership rate for African Americans is about 40% vs. 70% for White Americans.
The wealth disparity is staggering. African Americans are not benefiting because of systemic racial barriers, and it is an underlying economic crisis plaguing our community. This unequal access is the epidemic affecting our schools, income, health care, and social status in this nation. For those positioned, owning real estate is one path to create wealth. Becoming a business owner is another way to improve our collective economic stature. But for the masses of our community, we have to demand transformational public policy change, then ultimately exercising our voting rights at the polls starting on June 9th and November. Those candidates that we cast our votes for in the upcoming election and future elections should prove their support of an agenda that requires transformational public policy change or a major public policy intervention that builds African American wealth and closes the racial wealth gap.
Our livelihoods are at stake and that of our families. Our wounds are real, and our lives matter just as much as others. To create more equity for us, The Atlanta Black Chambers is committed to the Black cause in addressing all facets of our lives. From our legislators to our law enforcement, our finances, and mental health, our committees tackle policies across the board to create more economic opportunities for us, translating into jobs and long-term wealth for those in our community. The Atlanta Black Chambers will continue to address racial bias in the pursuit of equal treatment for all of us, and we are taking action to foster this cause. We have worked hard to create an environment conducive to our satisfaction. Now, it is time to use our voice as leaders, amplifying our message to close the racial wealth gap.
Our pain is an opportunity to emerge stronger, becoming a manager of wealth for our culture and the future of our community.
President & CEO
Atlanta Black Chambers, Inc
The Atlanta Black Chambers is a 501 c (6) non-profit organization consisting of individuals engaging in Business, Community and Government activities. Our mission is to serve as an advocate for the creation and growth of competitive, profitable and sustainable Black-owned entities. We are committed to providing quality education and training programs that emphasize economic development, ownership and wealth building practices. For more information
about the Chamber please go to www.atlantablackchambers.org.