Memphis serving as model for other cities for growing minority-owned businesses


MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – The city of Memphis is serving as a model for cities across the country for growing minority-owned businesses.

Ten major U.S. cities have signed on to follow the formula Memphis has developed as part of “City Accelerator,” a program to help cities improve its policies and services.

The goal is to help these cities become more inclusive and attack economic opportunities through racial equity.

“If you add up all the business transacted in Memphis, only 1% in a city that is 65% African American, that’s not equitable, that’s not fair,” says Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “For the best interest of our city, we have to grow African American-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, create wealth in those communities.”

Strickland says numbers prove the city has raised contract with minority businesses from 12% to 20%.

Nashville, Houston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, El Paso are all among the cities taking notes.

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