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April 14, 2014

Is President Obama Hurting (or Helping) Black Businesses?

Obama Speaking

Harry Alford, founder and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, has positive comments regarding the growth of black businesses and is quick to point out that a 60 percent growth rate for black business between 2007-2007 is good.

But, why does Mr. Alford say that the Obama administration is "not good for business and especially black business?”

Alford's concern about black businesses

Alford uses terms such as "parity" and "inequality gap" in voicing his concerns that there needs to be more progress among black business owners. Currently, about 7.3 percent of all small businesses are owned by African Americans.

Alford looks at this as a good start but certainly not where they need to be. The number of firms owned by blacks and revenue produced by black business owners should be considerably higher in order to place them on equal footing with mainstream American business owners.

So, what does this have to do with the Obama administration?

Specific industries such as engineering, IT, and construction management are underrepresented by blacks. Alford particularly focuses in on the construction industry and points out that Obama is a strong supporter of construction unions. The problem is that construction unions are not strong supporters of small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, including blacks, Hispanics and women.

In addition, there are fewer Small Business Administration (SBA) backed loans for blacks, and much less federal contract work for blacks. Alford wants to see more African American entrepreneurship, more job creation in black communities and more support for black business owners.

What do you think? Is he right?

For more details about Harry Alford and/or the National Black Chamber of Commerce, visit:


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