Black economic forecast for 2018

(l-r) Michael Grant, Ron Busby and Rev. Jesse Jackson

( – Galvanizing people to spend money with Black-owned businesses, make deposits in Black-owned banks and voting for a mid-term election result that would cause Black Caucus members and Democrats to chair U.S. House and Senate Committees are the necessary keys to maximize Black economic growth this year, according to top financial experts.

“The year 2018 can be the year when African Americans became serious about taking control of our economic destiny. We should feel an urgent need to close the racial wealth gap that continues to widen,” said Michael Grant, former president of the National Bankers Association, who is now regional president of a Tennessee-based mortgage banking company and a spokesman for the Black Wealth 2020 movement for support of Black businesses, banks, and home ownership. “We must actively seek out and support Black businesses, do more deposits and loans with Black banks, and do everything within our individual and joint capacities to secure homeownership for our people. I will be praying to almighty God for our success.”

As socially conscious people become intentional about their spending and financial habits, they must also target political candi-dates who will push for and establish federal policies that protect and undergird Black economic justice, said Rev Jesse Jackson, president/CEO of the Rainbow-Push Coalition.

“This year is a big vote year [2018]. We have the power to take the Congress back, the power of Black Congressmen and Congresswomen to become chairs of committees,” Rev Jack-son said. “Politically, that is worth dealing with our dollars and our votes.”

Jackson was refer-ring to the mid-term elections on Nov. 6, 2018. Political observers believe it to be possible to overturn Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. Democrats, overwhelming supported by Black voters, are viewed as more sensitive to racial disparities than Repub-licans.

All 435 House seats and 33 of the 100 Senate seats are up for election.

Economic justice advocates say small and Black-owned businesses are also key to helping to close the racial gap in the unemployment rate. The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which defines an independent small business as having fewer than 500 employees also say small businesses comprise more than half of the nation’s new employees every year, according to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.

Therefore, as Black businesses grow, Black employment will grow. Ron Busby, president/ CEO of the U. S. Black Chambers, Inc. has both good news and bad news in that regard.

“2017 proved to be an interesting and challenging year for African American business owners. The good news was we grew the number of African American businesses to a new height of over 2.1 million Black-owned businesses,” Busby said. That means a growth of more than 500,000 new Black firms.