New York City is taking steps to close the wealth gap for black and brown businesses. In an interview with Ebro in the Morning, Malik Yoba, an entrepreneur and the founder of Yoga Development, and Karine Apollon, the Chief Diversity Officer for New York City Public Schools, discussed the importance of economic empowerment for black and brown businesses, and how the city is working to create a more equitable economy.
"Economic empowerment is important for black and brown businesses because it helps to create jobs, build wealth, and strengthen communities," said Yoba. "When black and brown businesses thrive, everyone benefits."
Yoba agreed, saying that "economic empowerment is essential to closing the wealth gap and creating a more just and equitable society." She pointed to the city's new Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) procurement goals, which call for the city to spend $25 billion with MWBEs by 2025 and $60 billion by 2030.
"These goals are ambitious, but they are necessary," said Apollon. "We need to make sure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their race or ethnicity."
Yoba and Apollon also discussed the challenges that black and brown businesses face, such as access to capital, lack of representation in government, and discrimination. They called for more support from the city and state to help black and brown businesses overcome these challenges.
"We need to make it easier for black and brown businesses to get the loans and grants they need to start and grow their businesses," said Yoba. "We also need to make sure that they have a seat at the table when decisions are being made about how to invest in our communities."
Apollon agreed, saying that "we need to do more to level the playing field for black and brown businesses." She called for reforms to the city's procurement process, increased funding for minority-owned banks, and more representation of black and brown people in government.
The interview with Yoba and Apollon highlighted the importance of economic empowerment for black and brown businesses. It also showed that there is still much work to be done to close the wealth gap and create a more equitable economy.
Join them as they host a Real Estate Conference called “From the Ground Up: Flipping the Hood,” at Brooklyn Navy Yard Saturday, May 12 through Sunday, May 13. Visit the official website for more information.