MONTGOMERY – Two national reports rank Montgomery as one of the best cities (TOP TWO!) in the nation for Black-owned businesses.
Black Information Network examined research compiled by NerdWallet.com and Overheard on Conference Calls, both of which listed Montgomery as the second best city in the nation for Black entrepreneurs to start or own a business.
· With 28.5% of businesses in Montgomery owned by African Americans, Alabama’s Capital City leads all others listed in NerdWallet’s research findings.
· According to Overhead on Conference Calls, Montgomery’s “high percentage of Black-owned businesses, low unemployment, and low cost of living” make Montgomery a premier destination for Black entrepreneurs.
The news follows a recent announcement from Mayor Steven L. Reed – the first Black Mayor of Montgomery in the city’s 200-plus-year history – regarding plans to partner with local Black-owned banks and financial institutions and the initial success of the ‘Doing Business with Montgomery’ small business initiative.
· Under this strategy, the City will transfer $20 million to Liberty Bank, the largest Black-owned financial institution in the United States, who will now manage these assets.
· Initial results from the ‘Doing Business with Montgomery’ initiative show that the City has more than tripled the Black-owned businesses who receive City contracts.
STATEMENT RELEASED BY MAYOR REED FROM THE LIBERTY BANK & DOING BUSINESS WITH MONTGOMERY ANNOUNCEMENT:
“Black-owned businesses are essential to our city’s cultural and economic fabric. Montgomery is home to many black-owned businesses that provide jobs, essential services and make our city a great place to live and work. I am proud to share that we have tripled the number of Black businesses who receive City contracts. This is a direct result of our Doing Business with Montgomery program, but we will not stop there.
In everything we do, our goal is to foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes working to close the racial wealth gap by ensuring Black-owned businesses have access to the capital and capacity necessary to not only sustain – but grow – their operations. It also means ensuring a more equitable procurement and contracting process.
My administration will continue working to bring new entrepreneurs and voices to grow the economy. In doing so, the City will transfer approximately $20 million to Liberty Bank, which is the largest Black-owned financial institution in the United States. The Liberty Bank team will now manage these assets that were previously handled by other financial institutions.
This is a trend you’ll see across the nation. Large financial institutions are partnering with Black-owned banks to reach Black businesses and surrounding communities to bridge the racial wealth gap. Barriers to capital have long played a significant role in the lifespan of Black businesses. We need to use every instrument at our disposal to rectify these issues, many of which stem from systemic hurdles. Black-owned banks can be the primary sources of lending for Black entrepreneurs across the nation so it is incumbent upon us to partner with them.”
Article submitted by The City of Montgomery
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