City Council Member Wants to Study Minority Business Ownership

Chattanooga’s thriving business community is anchored by many companies are run by second and third generations.
Any moves toward diversity in the city will have to include minority-owned businesses that need to expand.
City council is being asked to do a study of that challenge.

YUSUF HAKEEM, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER “In black-opened business I think its beer, bar-b-que and beauty parlors..and we haven’t seen much beyond that.”

Councilman Yusuf Hakeem wants to see a study done in Chattanooga, with the focus on how to help minority owners grow and create jobs.
Hakeem invited a consulting firm and legal experts from Atlanta to make a presentation in an open meeting of the city council.
They explained how such a study could be done.

DARAKA E. SATCHER, THE SATCHER GROUP”No one should come in and say this should apply to Chattanooga . Here are the problems and here are the solutions. It has to start with those conversations first.”

YUSUF HAKEEM, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER “I think there is a severe disparity when it comes to minority participation in the area of contracts and items of that nature. I think the empirical data will validate that.”

For many aspiring business owners, the first choice is becoming a contractor.

RODNEY K. STRONG, ATLANTA ATTORNEY “You basically have to analyze what your availability and utilization of minorities and women-owned businesses are at this point and you have to make some kind of determination ..what kind of solutions make sense in this marketplace. ”
Councilman Larry Grohn asked if the city’s problems with low minority graduation rates would affect the final goals.

RODNEY STRONG “What we found around the county generally is that you have people that have the proper education and who have businesses but are not growing their businesses fast enough to break into the network.

DARAKA E. SATHER “I think its just starting that spark of getting interested and engaged.”

Council will discuss ordering that study at future work sessions, according to Hakeem.
He says it could be paid for with grants and some city funding.

Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Jobs & Economy, Local News

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