YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Join the Business Journal at noon on July 27 for a free live discussion, “Diversity Focus Group: Why Inclusion Matters to Valley Businesses”.

The panel can be viewed on our Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages.

We’ll meet with two local black business owners – Ra’Cole Taltoan from Rockbrook Business Services and Eartha Hopkins from The Literary House – to discuss their journeys as entrepreneurs, what they see happening in the business community. owned by black people, challenges still face entrepreneurs of color and why businesses need to look at what they are doing to support a business community that has historically been underserved.

During the panel discussion, we will also discuss Youngstown Publishing Co.’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Platform and what we are doing to support minority-owned businesses in our region, including the upcoming launch of a free directory.

Even though the events of 2020 shed new light on and encourage minority-owned businesses, there are still significant challenges to be overcome in being an entrepreneur of color.

A Federal Reserve report shows that only 66.4% of minority-owned businesses get at least some of their funding from banks, compared to $ 80.2 of their white counterparts. When minority-owned businesses get financing, the amounts are, on average, about $ 30,000 less than comparable white-owned businesses with about 1.4% higher interest rates.

For startups, the line between success and failure is thinner. Only 1% of black-owned businesses get commercial loans in their first year, compared to 7% of white-owned businesses. Black business owners are also turning to family member financing more often, with 14% of owners reporting having obtained family loans, compared to 9% of white business owners.

As you will read in our August issue, supporting minority-owned businesses is vital for a healthy and thriving business community. Join us July 27 at noon on our Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages for our discussion of what black business owners face and what can be done to support the community of entrepreneurs of color.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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