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Wells Fargo Invests $6.6 Million in Lending Capital and Grants for Black Businesses

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Wells Fargo, the nation’s third-largest bank, is awarding $6.6 million in lending capital and grants to 12 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) nationally that black-owned small businesses and others can use to flourish and create jobs.

The funding comes from the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program. The program includes targeting businesses owned by blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Along with boosting lending to diverse small businesses, the CDD funds are used by CDIFs to support initiatives that increase access to capital and resources. That support can include providing technical assistance, marketing, and other help such as coaching and education that the businesses perhaps need to grow.

The CDFIs are private, nonprofit financial institutions focused on providing responsible and affordable lending to underserved populations and communities.

“The combination of debt, grant, and social capital makes the DCC program unique,” Connie Smith, Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program manager, said in a statement. “The social capital component allows CDFIs to collaborate, innovate, and better serve diverse small businesses—and when our small businesses succeed, so do the communities they serve.”

Wells Fargo claims by financing community businesses—including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate and affordable housing—CDFIs spark job growth and retention in U.S. communities. Wells Fargo has committed $75 million to CDFIs since January 2016. Four rounds of awards have been done in 2016 and 2017, exceeding $55 million to date.

The  Round Four DCC recipients include:

Funds from round four were distributed to many black-owned businesses. Round five just closed, but round six will open May 1, 2018. Grants typically range from $50,000 to $500,000, while loans are generally between $100,000 to several million, according to the bank.

For more details about the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital program, visit https://ofn.org/wells-fargo-dcc

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/wells-fargo-investing-6-6-million-to-help-black-businesses-thrive/

by Jeffrey McKinney via blackenterprise.com

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Handcuffing of 2 Black Men Waiting For Friend in Philadelphia Starbucks Called ‘Reprehensible Outcome’ by CEO

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Two black men were handcuffed and paraded out the door of a Philadelphia Starbucks for allegedly refusing to leave when asked by staffers and police in an incident captured in a video that went viral and prompted the chief executive officer of the coffee company to say the “reprehensible outcome” should have never happened.

The video, posted by Melissa DePino, took place at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday inside of a Starbucks on Spruce Street near South 18th Street.

DePino’s footage immediately went viral on Twitter, racking up more than 9 million views.

Starbuck’s CEO Kevin Johnson released a statement apologizing to the two men on behalf of the company and saying he hopes to meet with them to “offer a face-to-face apology.”

“The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values,” Johnson said in his statement released late Saturday. “Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store. Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome — the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”

In an interview with ABC News, Melissa DePino, a 50-year-old writer and mother of two, said a Starbucks barista shouted from behind the counter at the two men to make a purchase or leave.

“They were sitting quietly minding their own business, and waiting for their friend to come,” she said.

DePino said she was so appalled by the incident, she plans to not go anymore to Starbucks.

“Plenty of other local places to go,” she said.

The incident caught on video also brought criticism from the mayor of Philadelphia, which has the nickname, City of Brotherly Love.

Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted: “I’m very concerned by the incident at Starbucks. I know Starbucks is reviewing it and we will be too. @PhillyPolice is conducting an internal investigation.”

On Saturday evening, the mayor put out another statement saying he was “heartbroken” to witness what “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”

“For many, Starbucks is not just a place to buy a cup of coffee, but a place to meet up with friends or family members, or to get some work done,” he said in the statement.

Kenney also said that he had asked the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to “examine the firm’s policies and procedures” and would be reaching out to Starbucks “to begin a discussion about this.”

He went on to add there would be “a thorough review” of police policies with regard to “complaints like this.”

The same day Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. posted a detailed account of the incident, in which he defended his officers’ actions.

Click here for more.

SOURCE: ABC News – M.L. Nestel

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raceAhead: A New Nielsen Report Puts Black Buying Power at $1.2 Trillion

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A new report from Nielsen on the current buying power of consumers of color offers a fascinating look at how we’re spending our money. For one, we seem to be eating a lot of vegetables.

For another, we’re shaping markets.

In the report Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers, the message is clear: While African Americans make up just 14% of the population, we are responsible for some $1.2 trillion in purchases annually. Further, consumers of color are showing an outsized influence in several key consumer categories, and are increasingly demanding that businesses do and be better.

In some cases, black consumers make up over 50% of overall spending, such as the category of dry grains and vegetables. But other categories are stand-outs as well, like baby food (42.76%) personal soap and bath needs (41.64%) and air fresheners and deodorizers (38.29%).

But the big takeaway is the willingness of smart brands to respond to the needs and feedback of black shoppers.

“Our research shows that Black consumer choices have a ‘cool factor’ that has created a halo effect, influencing not just consumers of color but the mainstream as well,” says Cheryl Grace, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen. “These figures show that investment by multinational conglomerates in R&D to develop products and marketing that appeal to diverse consumers is, indeed, paying off handsomely.”

But don’t try to play if you’re not ready.

Nielsen’s research shows that 38% of African Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 and 41% of those aged 35 or older expect the brands they buy to support social causes, outpacing the total population by 4% and 15%, respectively. The data also shows that once black-themed products are leaving the “ethnic” aisle and finding a wider audience. But the process can be fraught, as charismatic Shea Moisture founder Richelieu Dennis discovered last year when a poorly conceived video advertisement rankled their core customers.

Andrew McCaskill, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Multicultural Marketing, and long-time diversity advocate, breaks it down. “With 43% of the 75 million Millennials in the U.S. identifying as African American, Hispanic or Asian, if a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy,” he says.

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Industrial building in southern Dallas’ Redbird district sells to investor

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A southern Dallas warehouse and manufacturing building has been acquired by a California investor.

San Francisco-based Polk Street Industrial LLC purchased the building in the Redbird area at 4949 Joseph Hardin Drive.

The industrial property purchase includes a 289,000 square foot manufacturing facility with 10 acres of storage yard plus an additional 24 acres of land contiguous to the leased facility and yard. 

The building has been used by a pipe and plastics fitting manufacturer. Linron Properties sold the property in a transaction negotiated by JLL’s Dustin Volz, Zane Marcell and Grant Matthews.

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