Moving Baltimore Forward
Why Business Develoment
The “typical” strategy of dealing with urban poverty by providing huge tax credits and other financial incentives to large and well-established corporations to move into low- and moderate-income communities, rather than helping America’s urban entrepreneurs in creating locally operated food cooperatives, small financial institutions, day-cares, mechanic shops, restaurants, and barber/beauty salons, can no longer be the “economic policy du jour.”
Consequently, to truly address the issue of poverty, ECVC argues that Community Action Agencies and community-based organizations operating in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities must focus their resources on developing programs that increase business ownership, that train urban residents on finances and wealth-building, and that open the access to cheap capital for business development.
One of the most lasting and promising ways to address poverty in LMI communities is through minority business development. ECVC contends that self-employment is the quickest and easiest way to reduce poverty and create employment in LMI communities. However, for any new model of entrepreneurship program to work, it must be based on community-self-reliance, and it must come from community-minded activists, philanthropists, and small businesspeople. Such an entrepreneurship model must link business development with community development.