The income disparity between African Americans and whites in Cincinnati is vast. Only 18% of businesses are black-owned, according to the State of Black Cincinnati report – a jarring statistic for a city whose population is 43% black. In other areas, black Cincinnatians fall behind their white peers in education, employment and income. Now, through a number of initiatives, efforts are underway to increase access to early childhood education, job training and other support mechanisms in an attempt to level the playing field.
Some say, though, those efforts still aren't enough.
Last fall, the $3.5 million Cincinnati Access Fund, with collaboration from Fifth Third Bank, the City of Cincinnati and Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati (LISC), was launched to provide financial support as well as technical assistance to women- and minority-owned small businesses.
Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss efforts to increase opportunities for minority business success are head of business banking for Fifth Third Bank and chair of the board of directors for Mortar, Kala Gibson; Managing Partner at Mortar, Allen Woods; and Over-the-Rhine business owner Chanel Scales.
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