A Vision of Future Possibilities
It is of utmost importance to continuously question whether goals are being met. A district must be held accountable for value creation. Jobs and businesses should demonstrate growth, as well as a positive impact on the community.
Without such benefits, putting effort into supporting Black Wall Street or other such districts is illogical. While a successful Black district suggests great benefits for the community, it is important to remember that a failed endeavor has physical and emotional consequences.
Another issue that is important to test is distribution and the direction of money flow. As noted earlier, Blacks generate income but spend most of it on consumption outside of black neighborhoods. The current problem in many Black areas is the net loss of dollars by the community: money flow out surpasses money flowing into the area.
A viable solution lies in the creation of successful Black business districts, but the issue of autonomy is vital. Recycling dollars within the community is necessary, and those services consumers can obtain from Black businesses they need to take advantage of.
Davis comments "our solution to the leakage problem involves optimizing the net inflow of dollars to the ghetto and closing the ghetto economic system to all transactions that do not contribute to the growth of the ghetto economy as a whole.
With regard to the potential for a successful Black business district, an important issue is the possibility of government support. Government assistance for minority business enterprise is not new. With regard to Black business, specific federal programs have been in place in some form since 1964.
A detailed history of these movements is unnecessary here because the main conclusion is that efforts so far have been insufficient. Coles notes two notable problems are that Blacks are often unaware of the programs that do exist, and that government officials often have negative attitudes towards individuals attempting to receive assistance.
Yet it is important to not that government assistance is a possibility. Recently, President Bush announced his intentions to ask Congress for a 5.6 million dollar increase in funding for the Commerce Department"s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) for fiscal year 2005.
An important activity of the MBDA is the creation of Business Development Centers to increase opportunities for minorities. Ideally, the growing impact of minority populations will mean a lasting commitment by the federal government to Black business endeavors.
Finally, a last important future element is following the examples set thus far, not only in terms of the theoretical approach, but in personal behavior as well. Magic Johnson has been an extremely influential figure thus far in the cause, using his status and influence to help the inner city.
Future efforts should take advantage of the numerous successful Americans, including athletes like Magic and entertainers. By convincing high net worth individuals to invest their savings in banks in black areas or directly in black business ventures, urban black areas can further the movement for wealth creation.
Urban neighborhoods, while long neglected due to the shadow of a focus on suburbia, have potential to become thriving business districts. By encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to focus on the large labor pool and retail markets in urban environments, inner city black communities can hope for a practical means of rebuilding neighborhoods.
While certain organizations and efforts are in place currently to establish a foundation from which to rebuild minority urban centers, a larger problem is sustaining any achievements.
A main means of achieving this elusive lasting success relies on the concept of recycling black wealth in order to support local black businesses, encourage entrepreneurs, and help foster community wealth-generation.