Black Businesses Matter

Here’s a How-to Article for Wielding Business and Civic Power in the Hard Times  Brexit Era  

By Thomas L Blair 5 April 2017 ©

black-businessa-posterSharon McLean’s dreary law lecture to Black businesses and community professionals needs a hefty dose of BREXIT reality.

Black owners are at the bottom of queue for government’s largesse. Adversity in the economic marketplace abuses their capacity building strengths. The May administration has been slow to condemn it.

Therefore, “Get up, stand up for your rights” should be her message to the Black and Ethnic Minority Business Networking Event in BRIXTON, the traditional heart of Black London and Britain.

BREXIT plans are not inclusive enough. Something important is missing. Small Black businesses, mainly in London, are the job creators the government favours to create sustainable incomes and neighbourhoods. Yet their voices are unheard.

So, how to survive in the hard-times BREXIT era? How to make sure Black business owners get a seat at the table — not under it –to take advantage of new trade agreements with priority markets around the world.

Riding piggyback on the London Assembly’s Economy Committee Report could be a winning strategy. Government must acknowledge “the interdependence between London’s small and large businesses,” and avoid focussing just on the needs of major firms. Failure to do so, the report warns, risks damaging the capital’s “diverse and vibrant economy” which provides almost one quarter of the UK’s overall economic output.

McLean’s independent spirit as teacher turned CEO of Business with Excellence is crucial. She has the experience and expertise to champion a ‘whole London economy’ approach. However, she should forget the schoolmistress lecture style. It is elitist and ill-suited to this kind of scrap.

Keynote speaker McLean and delegates have a golden opportunity to call for a new inclusive agenda.  Clearly, to starve Black businesses of funding while increasing it for big business is a false choice. Conservatives have a big reason to respond positively: They’ve been promising BREXIT equality and inclusion ever since taking office.

Crucially, Blacks must unite, know the issues, gather money and allies, and exercise their political muscle. Hand in hand, under-served Black communities and unrewarded small businesses must  urge London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan to hold ministers to account on this vital issue.