Charlotte is Making Connections for the Benefit of Small and Minority-Owned Businesses

The City of Charlotte, NC, a finalist in the fourth round of the City Accelerator, is focused on increasing spending with minority-owned businesses.
by The City of Charlotte | May 8, 2017 AT 10:00 AM
(45 ratings)

The City of Charlotte, NC, is a finalist in the fourth round of the City Accelerator, which is focused on using public procurement to help create inclusive economic opportunity. Your feedback on its story map will inform final selection of the cities.

You have the option to view the Story Map full screen here but be sure to return to this page to give it a star rating and leave comments below!

What is Charlotte proposing?

The City of Charlotte is looking to increase spending with minority-owned businesses by the city, large corporations, and anchor institutions by easing the connection between purchasing organizations and local businesses. Participation in the City Accelerator will allow the city to focus on encouraging and supporting more low-income parents to pursue entrepreneurship as an alternative path to their fiscal stability. Lessons from the cohort could include how to provide entrepreneurship training and loan programs in low opportunity communities, as well as how to incorporate entrepreneurship skills into workforce development programs. The city will also explore changes in policy, practice and staff training to support the growth of businesses owned by people of color, and will share promising practices across sectors to strengthen the impact of procurement more broadly.

VIEW OTHER CITY PITCHES 

For a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the City Accelerator’s cohort on Procurement for Inclusive Economic Opportunity, click here.

Public response is one of several criteria being used by the City Accelerator to select cohort cities. The number of ratings or comments by themselves do not determine final status or selection.

3.5 out of 5 stars (60)

5 star
45
4 star
3
3 star
4
2 star
2
1 star
6

The City Accelerator wants your feedback. Ask a question or share your thoughts on the problem and the proposed approach - and we welcome your comment on what a solution would mean for city residents

Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.

Nicole Williams

On: 08-25-2017

This is so awesome. As a small business owner. I am so proud to see that Charlotte is really committed to growth for all its citizens. As well as developing opportunities for re-tool the work force with skills for the next generation. Great job City Council and all the other city officials involved in this effort.

Anonymous

On: 06-26-2017

Need to ensure MBSWE can not only bid the contract but can perform the work in the timeframe needed once awarded the contract.

MC

On: 05-22-2017

This is the type of community investment that is essential to the economic growth of Charlotte. The upward mobility study highlighted many of the factors and challenges that has limited, and in some instances, omitted the participation of minority groups in the city's economic growth. I look forward to impact that this initiative might on our entire community.

AL

On: 05-22-2017

Charlotte is a great City to live in and it's been home for 10 years now. I love seeing programs like this and proud to be part of the City's movement.

Mike

On: 05-22-2017

Charlotte is a beautiful city. Leading corporations are based in Charlotte. The city supports several professional sports team. Among the gleaming buildings and fast paced development lies difficult issues. Charlotte has been ranked 50th out of 50 largest cities for economic mobility. Charlotte is not proud of this. The City is taking steps to correct this imbalance. The City Accelerator would help Charlotte generate economic outcomes for low income residents and people of color. The grant would help to make significant advances for the residents of Charlotte. I fully support it and hope others do as well.

Marilyn Hanna

On: 05-22-2017

Charlotte has some of the most positive living options in the US. The strength of the City Leaders is strong and forward thinking. Charlotte won't stop here. Go Charlotte we have much to offer.

Dennis

On: 05-22-2017

I am obviously not the only one who is aware of the economic upward mobility study done by Harvard that ranks Charlotte dead last for people who are born here. This plan will be a step in the right direction to help this situation.

Anonymous

On: 05-22-2017

I think this is a wonderful opportunity to grow Charlotte as an all inclusive diverse City!!! Enabling community based small businesses to be a part of the "big city" map will be a blessing to so many!

Anonymous

On: 05-22-2017

It is vital to show the importance of diversity through increasing spending to minority-owned businesses through Charlotte. Eliminating this opportunity gap is paramount to becoming a successful city for all residents.

Craig

On: 05-19-2017

For a city that was recently determined to have among the worst upward mobility opportunities for people living in poverty, programs like this are vitally important!

Anonymous

On: 05-19-2017

Equal opportunity for entrepreneurship is a dire need for Charlotte. This funding seems a step in the right direction.

Anonymous

On: 05-18-2017

We are a growing city and this definitely is moving in the right direction!

Justin L.

On: 05-18-2017

I love that the city is pursuing this. Our low-income and minority populations are not given enough opportunities to succeed. This would be a good step toward equality in that area and would provide economic mobility to people who sorely need it. Charlotte is dead last among US cities in this area and programs like this will help to tackle that issue.

Laura

On: 05-18-2017

This is a great step in the right direction towards addressing upward economic mobility

Annie

On: 05-18-2017

I'm definitely in favor of anything that will improve the economic situation for residents of Charlotte, especially those who historically have not had equal access or opportunities.

GarnetGirl

On: 05-18-2017

Promoting and encouraging small business and new business of any kind is crucial to the success of the city. I think this is a great opportunity to start with a focus on MWSBE in the beginning, learn what works, and model it towards small businesses. Loan programs are particularly important to low income start ups.

AC

On: 05-18-2017

This is a great thing for the city. All small businesses should be appreciated and used as much as possible. Especially when there are opportunities through Govt' contracts. Good Job Charlotte

Bill McMillan

On: 05-18-2017

MWSBE businesses can help in the economic mobility of our city. By encouraging and making it easier for businesses to find MWSBE vendors to earn their business is a wise investment. And, based on the description, it doesn't seem to require much funding - mainly good effort.

Dr. Mike Wendell

On: 05-18-2017

While this is an important opportunity, city government has shown time and time again that their words do not match up with their actions. The city can't even keep it's own record keeping straight.

Shante Williams

On: 05-18-2017

I am encouraged by Charlotte expressed desire to expand opportunities for low income parents potentially affording them the opportunity to build and scale businesses to better support their families.

Victoria Watlington

On: 05-17-2017

Very happy to see the city of Charlotte addressing root causes of systemic issues in this manner.

Manolo

On: 05-17-2017

Sorry I forgot about the start.

Manolo

On: 05-17-2017

We are good but we can do better. I think we need to create more bridges and help the community and the government to cross it. Very proud of my city, very proud of our government, and most of all very proud fo our people.

Mimi Curlee

On: 05-17-2017

Making tools available for business people to connect with government procurement and other businesses is very worthwhile. Encouraging entrepreneurs in areas of our city where many people haven't known anyone who had their own business is vital. You don't know how to get there if you don't know where you're going. This grant will help the City of Charlotte assist people on their journey to upward economic mobility.

DeAlva Wilson

On: 05-17-2017

The focus on entrepreneurship is critical and I'm glad to see it as a part of this plan. Small businesses are foundational to economic growth. This plan is well informed and very necessary.

Teresa McDow

On: 05-17-2017

The community of Charlotte-Mecklenburg believes in and supports the creating of a variety small businesses and partnerships. This is vital to the contributions of our regions economic growth.

Omar Kazzaz

On: 05-17-2017

There can't be a better combination than minority owned businesses and small businesses. Not only are both the engine of economic growth, (especially small businesses), but they put Charlotte on the global stage to attract more business from other regions in the USA as well as from foreign countries.

Derrick Davis

On: 05-17-2017

This is a great opportunity for Charlotte’s small business community.

Parth Gandhi

On: 05-17-2017

I think this is a really good multi-pronged approach. Usually just increasing spending doesn't equate results. The goal to increase spending coupled with training and partnership (with experienced entities) will be much more effective. The partnership approach will stimulate idea generation that would be mutually beneficial to both parties. Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. in terms of population and economic development, among other things. A program such as this will be very effective to jump start growth for businesses that might not have had access to opportunities.

George McAllister

On: 05-17-2017

The City as well as the overall business community is committed to finding ways to work with minority owned businesses. If selected to be a City Accelerator, the entire community will participate in supporting its mission.

Emily

On: 05-17-2017

Increasing the capacity of our MWSBE businesses is an important step in improving economic mobility in our community. I think the City is on the right track with these initiatives.

Richard Bargoil

On: 05-17-2017

Consider clarifying "easing connection between corporate purchasing agents and small businesses" Current language too bureaucratic.

Justin

On: 05-17-2017

I am proud of the work the City has done and continues to strive for in the name of economic fairness and attempting to address economic disparities found not only in Charlotte, but in all major metro areas within this country. It is admirable and a worthy goal to take an honest look at your shortcomings as a community and address those issues head-on. It is easy to gloss over the negatives within our community when there are so many great things about Charlotte. However, the lack of economic mobility is especially concerning if you want your community to continue to grow, prosper, and sustain its success. It seems this accelerator grant is needed to help jumpstart the efforts in Charlotte to better connect small and minority owned businesses and provide those small businesses with an opportunity to grow their business, create more jobs and opportunities. I hope they are able to win this grant and continue their admirable efforts to address economic disparity within the community.

John

On: 05-17-2017

I find that although the need is there, this plan isn't really thought through. By stating you will use the finances to look at how other cities do it, I don't understand how Charlotte can't do that already. For the amount of money that will be granted, this plan doesn't really say what the money will be used for, especially compared to other cities who are asking for this money. For example, the first pillar says Charlotte will support and develop minority businesses, but how? The second pillar says they will look to other cities for wisdom? What does this have to do with the money? Overall, I just find this plan poorly thought through. As a Charlottean, I see the need is there but I don't see how the City of Charlotte will do anything with this amount of money without a finite plan. I would much rather see this money go towards other cities' plans because they have definitive ways on how they look to achieve a plan to better minority-owned businesses. As far as the visual goes, I find it odd how the focus of this initiative is on minority-owned businesses, but yet a lot of the pictures and stories represent small businesses. Not a fan of this "plan". I was expecting so much more from Charlotte.

Anonymous

On: 05-17-2017

Focusing on improving small minority-owned businesses' access to contracts with the city and other institutions is one of the important steps in growing the local economy. Providing support for home-grown businesses is critical for ensuring sustained opportunity and a focus on low-income entrepreneurs with limited access to business resources will expand the benefit of new opportunities across economic class.

Rev Willard Bass

On: 05-17-2017

It is ashame that the second largest financial hub in the Southeastern United States has to resort to taking other government financing to do something the private sector does every single day with public funding. Shame on you Charlottians. Will ever get it right for all your citizens.

James Clayton

On: 05-16-2017

I applaud the City of Charlotte for recognizing the importance of diverse business inclusion and the role it plays in the City's economic growth. Great Job Charlotte!

Chirty

On: 05-16-2017

High Crime thanks to Hug a Thug Community Policing,High Taxes,Conjested Traffic,High Rent,Lack of low cost housing for the serfs, Origonator of HB2 thsnks to Roberts, DemoRats promise everything deliver nothing Home of covi yed felon Cannon who as mayor stole from his public

Melissa

On: 05-16-2017

Charlotte is currently the second fastest growing metropolis in the US. The city and surrounding county desperately need financial assistance to not only sustain but also encourage and support infrastructure, economic programs, social programs and community engagement.

Bill Gill

On: 05-15-2017

Story is concise with sufficient depth to get the message across. Well done.

Noelle DeAtley

On: 05-13-2017

I have been an active community volunteer in Charlotte, NC since 2007. I can say from personal experience as an MWSBE, that Charlotte is a great place to have a business and a home. Small businesses need help bridging the gap between talent and opportunities. The proposal is sound and the need for support is genuine. Only good things will come from this partnership with City Accelerator.

Juanita Tackett

On: 05-12-2017

As a woman business owner who is certified SWBE, having a mentor to help me navigate the opportunities available through Charlotte Business Inclusion would give my company the boost it needs to jump to the next level of growth.

Parker

On: 05-08-2017

Small businesses matter. Good idea.