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Tips For Black Business Owners From The CEO Of A Black-Owned Bank

7 Views· 02/23/24
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With interest rates at a 22-year high, Michael Pugh says Black business owners crunched for cash should look to community-based financial institutions for help.“Learn more about them; we have a very different scope [regarding loan arrangements],” Pugh, the CEO of New York-based Carver Federal Savings Bank, tells Forbes of community banks. “We have to make sure we extend our arms and get out there and tell people what they need to know to start achieving that generational wealth.”August is National Black Business Month, and ForbesBLK is highlighting the theme with special discussions about sustaining and expanding Black firms. Based in Harlem, Carver is one of the largest Black-run financial institutions in the U.S., celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023. The bank is named after George Washington Carver and trades on the NASDAQ. Pugh was named CEO in 2012.Black businesses generated $206 billion in annual revenue and supported 3.56 million U.S. jobs in the last decade, according to the non-profit Brookings Institution. However, though Black people comprise 14.7% of the U.S. population, the community represents 12.4% of sole proprietorship and only 2.4% of employer businesses. Brookings said the stats show “disparities” that hold back Black entrepreneurs and “restrict economic opportunities for entire communities, which in turn impacts local prosperity.” Brookings also notes that access to sufficient capital remains a lingering issue for Black-owned businesses. That causes entrepreneurs to rely on personal funds and credit cards to finance operations.

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