SBA Launches LINC, Empowering African American Women Business Owners
In February, the Small Business Administration launched LINC—Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital. According to SBA.gov, LINC is a simple way to connect prospective SBA lenders to small businesses in need of capital.
“Once you fill out the form, your business information will be sent to participating SBA lenders who will contact you within 48 hours should there be a match.”
In a recent blog post on SBA.gov, Small Business Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet wrote:
There’s a hunger among entrepreneurs to find financing to get their business off the ground or take the next big step in their expansion plan. Across the country, thousands of small business owners pound the pavement every day looking for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them hire and grow. But too often, they’re wasting time they don’t have cold-calling and door-knocking their way to a lucky break. It shouldn’t be this way. If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, you shouldn’t have to go begging to borrow.
On Wednesday, Contreras-Sweet joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss how the SBA’s LINC initiative can help small businesses grown in an economic environment where banks are not so willing to lend and deliver an update on SBA lending to minority owned businesses.
Contrerars-Sweet told Martin there have been increases in SBA lending to minorities and African American women and said, “While the numbers are showing an uptick from 2002 to now — African American women businesses owners have expanded by 66%, and the SBA needs to be there more for them.”
The SBA Administrator offered the aforementioned LINC program as a way to increase lending to Black and women owned businesses.
Watch Martin and SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet discuss the SBA’s efforts to increase lending to minority and women owned small business in the video clip above.
Are You A Conscious Consumer? Nielsen Examines The Spending Power Of Black Super Consumers
According to a new report by Nielsen titled “The Making of a Multicultural Super Consumer,” “Multicultural consumers are rapidly becoming the core of the U.S. population and African-American, Asian American and Latino consumers are emerging as a major consumer force in the country.”
These “Multicultural consumers” make up 38 percent of the U.S. population, account for $3.4 trillion in buying power, and 78 percent of these individuals care about their cultural identity.
The Nielsen report also states:
“As the numbers of multicultural consumers continue to grow, so too will their purchasing power. Already, U.S. multicultural buying power is growing at an exponential rate compared to the total U.S., increasing from $661 billion in 1990 to $3.4 trillion in 2014. This is more than double the growth of total U.S. buying power.”
On Tuesday, Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, SVP U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the projected influence of the multicultural consumer, as well as the development of conscious consumers.
McNeil told Martin, “Super consumers are representative of 10 percent of households who are really diving 30 percent of all sales, 40 percent of growth, and 50 percent of profit for a given category.”
Out of the nearly 150 categories currently being tracked, multicultural consumers “drive” their sales, growth, and profits.
“Are we maximizing what we are spending in terms of what we are getting, in terms of appointments, board positions, corporate positions and how do we get African-Americans to say ‘We’re spending, we ain’t getting … that return on that investment,” Martin asked.
NewsOne Now panelist George Curry, Editor-in-Chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service, responded to Martin’s question saying, “We’re consumers, but we’re not conscious consumers.”
Pearson-McNeil told Martin and the panel, “We’re not conscious about how we’re spending our time, how we’re spending our money.”
Nielsen started a campaign called The Conscious Consumer, where the company urged consumers to ask themselves a series of five questions before they watched a program on television or before they went out to buy a product. These questions are as follows:
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.