- Created on 06 May 2013
The Office of Advocacy, an independent office that serves as the voice for small business within the federal government, recently released a report that found improved small business lending by banks in the United States would boost exports by the smallest businesses.
The report, called The Impact of Credit Availability on Small Business Exports, examines the relationship between the steep declines in small business lending and falling rates of small business exports during the recent recession. Small exporters with fewer than 100 employees especially felt the effects of deteriorating bank health or declines in bank lending. The effects of declining bank health on exporting were less evident for larger firms. The report defines bank health in terms of bank capital, liquidity, and nonperforming loan ratios.
“Small businesses that export their goods and services need to compensate for the riskiness of cross-border transactions and to allow for longer transportation times to get goods to market,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Add to that the greater reliance of small firms on bank credit in general, and it’s easy to see how even small changes in bank health could have the effect of undermining small business exports.”
“As policymakers focus on ways to improve the economy, the smallest businesses need more access to capital to grow their businesses and export their products,” said Dr. Sargeant. “Small businesses are playing an important role in this nation’s economic recovery, and if we want to export more American products around the world, we must improve this country’s lending environment.”
In the report, the author, Dr. Joe Peek, also examines differences by industry and state. The full report is available on the Office of Advocacy website at http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/7540.
- Created on 06 May 2013
A recent article in the Philadelphia Tribune revealed depressing numbers related to black business growth.
“Every five years, the U.S. Census does a survey to determine how many businesses there are in this country, who owns them, how many persons they employ, and what their annual revenues are. The figures for 2007, while lauded for the increase in the number of Black-owned businesses, revealed decreasing revenues for Black businesses, relatively few employees, a vast majority of them in the service industry.
The article goes on to say that the average gross receipts for Black firms as a whole fell 3 percent, from $74,000 per firm in 2002 to $72,000 per firm in 2007. And that 67 percent of black businesses had annual receipts of less than $50,000.
Read more here.
- Created on 03 May 2013
According to the data found in a new report, "The Buying Power of Black America," Black consumers have shifted their priorities and preferences.
With the nation slowly recovering from recession, businesses need to develop strategies for regaining and increasing their share in the Black American economy. Black consumers now represent the margin of profitability in most consumer product categories.
"What the recession did to Black consumers' buying habits was to give them a reason to re-evaluate how they spent billions of dollars," said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the report.
"Before tight economic times, many companies were in the habit of taking their loyalty -- especially to top brands -- for granted. That changed during the downturn. Price became a bigger factor driving purchasing decisions. Now brands have to earn the loyalty of Black consumers all over again, and Black consumers are asking brands, 'what have you done for me lately.'"
For the past 17 years, Target Market News has published the only report that details in dollars the impact of the Black Consumer
Market. Now approaching a trillion dollars in spending, the earned income of Black America already makes it the 16th largest market in the world, and it is on the verge of surpassing the gross national income of Mexico.
This 105-page report breaks down how much of Black consumers' $836 billion in income during 2011 was spent on clothing, entertainment, food, beverages, toys, consumer technology, cosmetics, autos, travel and dozens of other categories.
The top five categories with the largest dollar expenditures were Housing and Related Charges - $206.2 billion; Food - $70.7 billion; Health Care - $25.5 billion; Cars and Trucks (new and used) - $22.6 billion; and Apparel Products - $21.1 billion.
The top five categories showing an increase in spending between 2010 and 2011 were
Appliances, $2.7 billion (29%); Sports and Recreational Equipment, $850 million (28%); Personal and Professional Services, $5 billion (27%); Computers, $5 billion (21%); and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $4.3 billion (16%).
Besides the economy, another factor causing a shift in the loyalty Black consumers is social media and increased access to business information. The new edition of The Buying Power of Black America debuts a section detailing the advertising dollars spent by major companies in Black media. It also compares the ad spending of companies by categories.
The Buying Power of Black America is an analysis of data compiled annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is based on interviews and diaries collected from 3,000 Black households, and is the most comprehensive survey conducted on Black consumers.
- Created on 06 May 2013
Buffalo Wild Wings, long known for its flavorful chicken wings, is throwing its hat into the premium beer ring. Their new beer, which was announced during the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Monday, is named “Game Changer.”
Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith said the game is “a premium craft beer that is designed to go perfectly with our flavorful wings while watching a game.” Smith also noted that the restaurant brand has been looking for ways to increase their beer margins for some time now, but found it challenging due to cost restrictions from brewers and distributors.
Buffalo Wild Wings also announced that it’s changing its pricing for wings. It will now sell wings according to weight instead of quantity. Wings will now be available in “snacks, small, medium and large” serving sizes.
“Our new servings will allow us to serve a consistent portion of chicken to our guests when the size of wings fluctuates,” Smith said.
The company buys wings by the pound and has sold them by the piece, but chicken growers are producing bigger birds with bigger wings, leaving the brand with fewer wings per pound. Wild Wings has been testing new portioning in about 40 markets. The company will begin implementing the new portioning at all of its restaurants in July, and plans to have it completed by the start of football season.
- Created on 02 May 2013
Jewel Burks, a 23-year-old 2010 Howard University graduate and current Atlanta resident won START ATL's "Idea Pitch Session" during the recent symposium at Spelman College.
The competition featured 60-second pitches from pre-selected entrepreneurs in front of a panel of judges for a chance to win a Dell laptop, a $500 Office Depot gift card and five hours of web consulting services.
Burks' pitch was for her mobile app, PartPic, which she started in January. According to its website, www.partpic.com, PartPic was designed to help people discover the right part for repair and maintenance projects. PartPic was designed to help make locating industrial supplies easy by letting users snap a picture of a part to find more information about it or where they can purchase its replacement.
"I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and have been dabbling with different ideas for a long time," said Burks. "I thought a mobile app would be a great first step to start my journey as a full-time entrepreneur."
START is part of a nationwide series created by digitalundivided (DID), a social enterprise that builds forward thinking initiatives that ultimately change the digital space by increasing the number of Black and Latino women digital entrepreneurs.
The START Atlanta symposium was developed to teach urban entrepreneurs the tools to create and grow successful digital companies.