Category: Business Written by CNN
Beyonce performs on stage during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013, April 29, at the o2 Arena in London, UK. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images)
by Catriona Davies
(CNN) -- With 17 Grammy awards, $75 million in world record sales and a fourth world tour underway, Beyonce is one of the world's biggest names in show business.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 18:16
Category: Business Written by James Clingman
(NNPA)—Although the dictionary calls it archaic, the “management of a household” is one of the definitions listed for the word “economy.” Another definition is “a saving or attempt to reduce expenditures.” Yet another is “a system of interacting elements, especially when seen as being harmonious.” And still another definition for economy has to do with “the production and consumption of goods and services of a community regarded as a whole.” As I look at those descriptions of an economy, only the last one partially applies to Black Americans collectively, and that’s the “consumption” part.
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 2007 census revealed total receipts for Black owned businesses to be less than $136 billion that, when juxtaposed against an aggregate “Black buying power” during that period of approximately $850 billion, illuminated a lack of business growth and a glut of consumer spending. 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. Furthermore, a whopping 87 percent of Black businesses had annual receipts of less than $50,000 in that time period. Other statistics disclosed a low savings rate among African-Americans and a grossly disparate median income and net worth when compared to other ethnic groups.
The University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth estimates that the nation’s “Black buying power” is rising from $1.038 trillion in 2012 to a projected $1.307 trillion in 2017. The 2012 U.S. Census data will likely reveal a bump in business receipts, but the total will probably be less than $175 billion. Median income, net worth, and savings disparities will likely stay the same and the mythical Black economy will trudge along like a brand new, 12-cylinder, state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line automobile running on only six of those 12 cylinders. We will definitely be looking good, but we sure won’t be doing good (pardon my grammar).
That’s essentially how we are as consumers. We look real good, but when it comes to how we are doing, that’s another story. Maybe one of the reasons for that can be found in some of our consumption statistics. A few years back, the Selig Center reported that Blacks spend more on telephone services, children’s apparel, electricity and natural gas, and guess what, footwear. Today, I’m sure hair (someone else’s) is in the top five.
How do we measure up in business? In his classic book, Black Bourgeoisie, E. Franklin Frazier stated, “[Black] business enterprises come within the definition of small businesses; in fact, they fall within the lowest category of small businesses. When the first study was made of Negro business in 1898, it was found that the average capital investment for the 1,906 businesses giving information amounted to only $4,600.00. When the latest study of Negro business was made in 1944, it was revealed that the average volume of business of the 3,866 Negro businesses in 12 cities was only $3,260.00.”
Was Frazier correct in his assessment of what he deemed the mythical nature of Black business? Was he correct when he suggested the Black middle class was also a myth? He made a lot of folks angry when he wrote, “Negro business … has no significance in the American economy, [and] has become a social myth embodying the aspirations of this [Black Bourgeoisie] class.” As we look at today’s statistics we must reconsider Franklin’s position, because the numbers reflect the same conditions he discussed in 1957.
Frazier was decrying our definition of “middle class” as one that embodies high incomes and material possessions, e.g., the mink coats, diamonds, and Cadillacs to which he referred, instead of business ownership and economic growth. While we consider the trappings of the good life as “wealth,” sold to us by everyone else, of course, we are mired in a dysfunctional—and maybe even mythical—Black economy.
Much of our economic pain in the 21st century is the direct result of our failure to develop a real Black economy, our failure to take care of our collective “household,” our failure to save more of our money, our failure to support our own businesses, and our failure to produce goods and services commensurate with our percentage of population and income. Additionally, we have failed to work together for the uplift of the masses, sharing our resources with one another and helping one another as we make our way individually.
The so-called “middle-class” Blacks have distanced themselves, not necessarily physically but mentally, and as Frazier wrote, they have been obsessed “with the struggle for status.” And many of the less fortunate among our people spend too much time being jealous and envious of our brothers and sisters who have achieved at higher levels. The result is an oxymoronic “Black economy.”
(Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:09
Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
by KEN SMIKLE
According to the data found in a new report, The Buying Power of Black America, now may be the most opportune time ever for businesses to develop a strategy for increasing their share of the Black American market. With the nation slowly recovering from recession, Black consumers represent the margin of profitability in most consumer product categories.
“What the recession did to Black America’s buying habits is to give them a reason to re-evaluate how they spent the billions of dollars they earned collectively,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the report. “Before tight economic times, companies felt they could afford to take their loyalty—especially to top brands—for granted. That changed during the downturn. Price was a bigger factor driving purchasing decisions. Now brands have to earn the loyalty of Black consumers all over again. 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 breaks down in dollars the impact of the Black Consumer Market. Now approaching a trillion dollars in spending, the earned income of Black America is already the 16th largest market in the world, and 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 was spent during 2011 on clothing, entertainment, food, beverages, toys, consumer technology, cosmetics, autos, travel and dozens of other categories.
Another factor causing a shift in the loyalty of Black consumers is social media and increased access to business information. The new edition of The Buying Power of Black America includes a section detailing the dollars spent by major companies on advertising in Black media. It also compares the ad spending of companies by categories.
“African-Americans can now rely on their own research about brands,” said Smikle. “This is one of the reasons why we added a section that tracks how much leading advertisers spent in Black-oriented media. There is a correlation between building and sustaining Black consumers’ patronage and the dollars spent to reach them through advertising. That fact has not changed in this diverse media environment—it has become an imperative for brands that want success.
The report compares spending by Black households on 500-plus products and services between 2010 and 2011. 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, $2.7billion (29 percent); Sports and Recreational Equipment, $850 million (28 percent); Personal and Professional Services, $5 billion (27 percent); Computers, $5 billion (21 percent); and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $4.3billion (16 percent).
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 more than 3,000 Black households, and is the most comprehensive survey conducted on Black consumers. This same data is also used as the basis for the U.S. government’s Consumer Price Index.
The 17th annual edition of The Buying Power of Black America includes these sections covering:
•Expenditure & Trends: A break down of how spending by Black consumers has changed in more than 500 individual categories between 2010 and 2011.
•Income Data: A detailed look at how much African-Americans earn, explanations of the varied definitions and types of income, city-by-city data on Black income, a comparison with world economies and a look at Black buying power over the past 30 years.
•Black Buying Power in the Top 35 Markets: An expanded breakdown of the billions of dollars Black consumers spent in 26 major categories of products and services in the nation’s top markets.
•Leading Black Media Advertisers: A ranking of national advertisers and industries according to their ad expenditures in Black media
•The 100-Plus Index: A special section providing data on dozens of items for which African-American consumers out-spent their white counterparts.
•Demographic Data on the Black Population: The latest information on the African-American population including rankings of the largest Black metropolitan areas, the percentage of Black population in U.S. cities and a listing of the total dollars earned by Black consumers for each of the past three decades.
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. The data is the basis for the U.S. government’s Consumer Price Index.
For more information about the Buying Power of Black American, call 312-408-1881.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 21:37
Category: Business Written by Damon Carr
Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. Death is one of those subjects that we tiptoe around. The reality is death is a certainty of life. Nobody knows the exact hour. To ensure that your goals, dreams, wishes and responsibilities to your dependents don’t cease with you, it’s important that we plan for our mortality.
I’m not suggesting that you go and select a casket, the outfit that you want to be buried in or your cemetery plot. I’m suggesting that you enhance and/or preserve your economic value so that those who rely on your income can move forward financially and carry out the goals that you shared without changing their standard of living or becoming destitute. When you have dependents such as a spouse, young children, parents, other blood relatives or anyone who depends on your income or the services that you provide you have economic value.
It’s common in today’s culture that both parents work. Both incomes are relied upon to make ends meet. A working spouse’s income is what is used to feed and clothe the family, keep the lights on and pay the bills. Should the working spouse experience an untimely death that spouse’s income stops yet the dependents need to be fed, clothed and have a roof over their head remains. How will the surviving dependents pay for it without the deceased income?
A stay at home mom has economic value to the household. She sees the kids off to school, cooks, and clean in addition too countless other task. Should she experience an untimely death, you’ll need to hire Super Nanny to do all the work that she does. The difference is you’ll have to pay Super Nanny.
Your need to preserve your economic value diminishes if you’re single with no dependents. You’ll undoubtedly be missed should you die. However, the loved ones you leave behind will be able to continue to fend for his or herself. Your need to preserve your economic value also diminishes as you age. Over time your children will grow older, wiser, and more independent while you’ll continue to amass your personal savings. As they mature, you’ll eventually stop supporting your dependent children. In addition, your savings will grow to a point where you’re self-insured.
Until personal savings is large enough to provide for the long-term needs and carry out the goals and wishes you and your family shared. Life insurance can be used to partially replace or fully replace the lost of your income or economic value in the event of an untimely death. Most people mistakenly believe that the purpose of life insurance is for burial expenses. Paying for burial expenses is a small component of life insurance. The real need for life insurance is to replace the income or economic value of the deceased.
Types of life insurance
There are two types of life insurance: term insurance and cash value insurance.
With term insurance, you insure your life for a certain amount of money for a fixed period of time. Term insurance is by far the cheapest and purest insurance program available. Term insurance is the only type of life insurance that I recommend. Hands down, term insurance gives you the biggest bang for your buck. There are four types of term insurance—annual-renewable term, guaranteed-level term, decreasing term and convertible term insurance. Without going into details about the various term insurance, I’ll suffice it to say that guaranteed-level term is your first choice and usually the only choice you’ll need.
With cash-value insurance, you buy insurance protection for a specific face amount as well as a savings account with the insurance company. The goal is to build a cash-value that will eventually equal the face amount of the insurance policy by the time you’re 100 years old. As you continue to build up savings inside the insurance policy you’re eventually becoming self-insured. The difference between the face amount and the cash-value amount is called the net amount at risk. The net amount at risk is the amount the insurance company is on the hook for in the event of an untimely death. For example, if you have a cash-value insurance policy with a face amount of $100,000 and a cash-value of $10,000, should something happen to you and you die, the insurance company will cut you a check for $100,000. They keep the $10,000 cash value. Their net amount at risk was $90,000. For this reason in the fact that cash-value insurance is very expensive and the rate of return on the cash value is relatively small in comparison to similar investments, I’m not a fan of cash-value insurance.
There are three types of cash-value insurance: whole-life, universal-life and variable-life insurance. There are various differences between the three. The primary difference is what saving or investment products are being used to build your cash-value.
How much life insurance do you need?
If someone relies on your income or economic value, you should have life insurance that equals 10 to 15 times your annual income. Therefore, someone earning $50,000 per year will need guaranteed-level term insurance with a face amount between $500,000 to $750,000. I generally recommend 20-year guaranteed-level term insurance. However, the term portion of your insurance can coincide with how long it will be before your children are grown and/or how long it will be before your personal savings and other income sources are sufficient to provided for your survivors.
(Mortgage and Money Coach Damon Carr is the owner of ACE Financial Damon can be reached at 412-21-1013.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:07
Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:05
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