06-19-2018  5:16 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...


What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...


Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Germany: Syrian teen on trial over anti-Semitic assault

BERLIN (AP) — A 19-year-old from Syria is on trial in Berlin over an assault in the German capital on an Israeli wearing a skullcap.The young man is charged with bodily harm and slander. The April 17 attack caused nationwide outrage and fueled concerns over anti-Semitism in Germany.German...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...


In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo share baby photo

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine spent his first Father's Day as a dad of two.Supermodel Behati Prinsloo shared a photo on Instagram of the 39-year-old holding their second daughter, Gio Grace, who was born in February. Their first daughter, Dusty Rose, is nearly 2 years...


Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

A big stink erupts over landfills ringing Russia's capital

KOLOMNA, Russia (AP) — Walking to a store in March, Olga Yevseyeva was hit by the familiar, noxious stench...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

North Korea's Kim meets with Chinese President Xi in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday at the...

Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II...

France's Macron admonishes teenager; video goes viral

PARIS (AP) — A video of French President Emmanuel Macron strongly admonishing a teenager who called him by...

William Scott
By William Scott

African-American-owned businesses are the backbone of their communities, major contributors to our growing economy, and sources of innovation and thought leadership -- not just in their industries but throughout our society. They also provide economic opportunity and stability to struggling minority communities. The problem is there are simply not enough of them.

The number of minority-owned businesses has increased by 50 percent in the past decade but is still discouragingly low compared to white-owned businesses. While minorities now make up 38 percent of the U.S. population, they are a mere 15 percent of business owners. African-Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population but an abysmal seven percent of business owners.

As one of those African-American business owners, I know minority-owned companies have great potential to contribute more to our economy. But I also know first-hand the challenges we face. As much progress as our country has made on equal rights, it’s still as our parents told us growing up: To be successful, you have to work twice – or three times - as hard as a white person.

Many of us are willing to do just that, but we still need access to the tried-and-true business resources, that typical white families can take for granted. These include wealth, an established support network and even key contacts at agencies that provide capital. To bring us closer and increase our numbers, here are a few common-sense recommendations:

-- Realize that for many African-Americans, especially women, starting a business may currently be their best, or only, economic opportunity, given the stubbornly high unemployment rate. Women already make up the fastest-growing segment of the African-American business sector. As a business consultant, I see many people of color succeed as entrepreneurs through networking, securing investment and other proven strategies – even though they face obstacles that white-owned businesses do not.

-- Work to convince your elected officials to evaluate entrepreneurs’ needs accurately. For example, every growing business needs access to capital, but Small Business Administration data indicates that minority businesses owners were nearly three times as likely to be denied a loan, and twice as likely to be discouraged from applying for one, as non-minority business owners.

Organizations like the American Sustainable Business Council can help get the word to policy makers. For example, they arranged for me to testify in Washington at a congressional hearing looking at how overregulation might harm minority entrepreneurs.” My message was emphatic: Regulations are not the problem. On the contrary, regulations help.

As I told the subcommittee, “Regulations play an important role in meeting the needs of our businesses and in protecting our community. Business owners understand that with investments in their business come responsibilities, contracts and regulations to ensure protections. Responsibilities aren’t the problem. Getting a fair shot at investments is.” When every willing-and-able entrepreneur has a real chance to succeed, all taxpayers benefit.

-- Understand that the big challenge facing minority business owners isn’t the heavy hand of government – it is the continuing, compounding inequities in access to capital, business development resources, education, family wealth, and fair business practices.

-- Encourage your elected officials to adopt procurement policies that let minority-owned firms harness the purchasing power of businesses, governments and other large institutions. Better goals and criteria beyond the current minimal set-asides for minority- and women-owned businesses would begin to address the full range of compounded challenges.

-- Seek out professional business guidance wherever you can – and offer it if you have know-how to share. Because it’s my area of expertise, I know that all businesses benefit from professional consulting. That’s why I also told the committee in Washington, “If you want to really help them, provide more resources for professional business consultation to minority-owned businesses.”

Paths to success have increased for African-Americans with big ideas in recent decades, but we’re just getting started. Reality-based government regulations, investments, opportunities, and responsible business practices are not just good for African American-owned businesses. They are good for all businesses – and the economy we all share.

While we work to improve fair access to capital and other business resources, let’s capitalize on our own strengths, experiences and stamina: A legacy that built so much of America can surely build us a future.

William Scott is CEO of Tristatz, LLC, a community and economic development consulting company in Selma, AL.

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