Progress, Challenges, Recommendations in Arizona Black Business Report



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Christina Estes/KJZZ

Michael Malone is the owner and CEO of Malone Sports & Publishing in Tempe.

Seventeen months after releasing the first “State of Black Business” report, participating Arizona groups are sharing progress, challenges and recommendations.

Timing was everything, says Tempe Deputy Economic Development Director Maria Laughner. Days after listening to last year’s report on the state of black trade, she read an article about the growth of micro-manufacturing in cities and thought it would benefit the landlocked city.

“You don’t need, you know, 50,000 or 100,000 square feet of warehouse space and, you know, big equipment,” she said.

But small producers need some space with raw materials and equipment. Laughner took her idea to Teniqua Broughton, the executive director of Black Arizona State.

“Most of you don’t know what you don’t know until you start talking about what you don’t know,” she said.

In September, the Tempe City Council will be asked to approve a Micro-Manufacturer Entrepreneurship Program to provide seed capital and business training to Black, Native Americans and people of color. After the city secured $500,000 in federal funds, Laughner said Tempe committed $300,000.

The report, in collaboration with the Black Arizona Economic Council of Greater Phoenix, the Arizona Black Chamber, the Black Philanthropic Initiative, the Center for the Future, and the need for more dialogue, collaboration and access to capital were among the key points shared Wednesday. of Arizona, and the Arizona Economic Development Center.

“We believe as the Black Chamber of Arizona, we need a central database for black-owned businesses, what we don’t want are five or six organizations with scattered information that never gets together,” Robin said. Reed, Chamber President. “To support that, we’ve created a Business Directory membership for our Chamber of Commerce, a no-cost membership that allows us to collect information on businesses – you don’t have to pay anything for it – and then we collect that information at various intervals and share that information with Blax Friday, which becomes part of what they do so we can go into one central database.

Based in southern Arizona, Blacks Friday was created in 2020 to highlight black-owned businesses in the state.

“It’s not about helping one group at the expense of others,” Broughton said, “but we must continue to fight to be intentional, targeted.”[ed] Investments in political, social and business capital to help build a better ecosystem for black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a good business case that creates great opportunities for all Arizonans.

The report focuses on access to capital and low capital and local and national programs to combat wealth inequality.

Recommendations from the Black Business 2022 report include:

  • Increase access to startup capital
  • Creating new creative funding opportunities
  • Loan terms for black-owned businesses
  • Close the financial institution gap


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