By: HBCU Staff
Think Like A Boss: The Power of the Black Dollar discussion was moderated by Angela Jones, publisher of the Hampton Roads Messenger (HRM) and The HBCU Advocate, and presented by a the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Before starting her entrepreneurial path for all of her businesses, Jones completed her degree in Engineering Mathematics at North Carolina A&T State University and worked in the telecommunications industry for more than a decade. She made the decision to make a difference in her community of Hampton Roads, Virginia. HRM is committed to economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.
Gary McCants and Sonji Rollins-Tucker were the two esteemed panelists. Rollins-Tucker graduated from Hampton University with a B.S. in Finance. Rollins-Tucker achieved significant success over time while working in the financial sector. She is the founder and manager of SRT Design Group LLC and is a registered investment advisor and registered candidate for the Certified Financial Planner designation. SRT Design Group LLC develops financial road maps for the prosperity of women. Rollins-Tucker juggles her responsibilities as a mother, social justice advocate, and chair of 100 Black Women’s economic development with grace. She has consulted with a number of commercial and public companies, including Raymond Kendall Group, Suntrust Bank, and the Office of Minority and Business Development for the City of Richmond.
Gary McCants serves as both a business consultant and the president of McCants LLC. He works with both governmental and nonprofit organizations, providing them with his knowledge, direction, and impeccable vision plans. He is a leader in the community and co-founder of Greensboro’s Business League Inc. He also serves as chairman of the North Carolina Black Chamber of Commerce. His advisory has no jurisdiction as he is a respected figure among minority and women-owned companies in the South Hampton Roads, Virginia and Greensboro, North Carolina areas. He is a respected man with tremendous education who graduated from Virginia Union University and studied at the Tuck School of Business located at Dartmouth College.
It is crucial that the black dollar’s function not be overlooked given the current atmosphere of economic strain. Discussion topics during the webinar included Black Wall Street, the stock market, investments, loan interest rates, and black education systems. Black Wall Street, according to McCants, is a neighborhood or community that engages in Black commerce. Rollins-Tucker chimed in and analyzed the distinction between wealth and income. Her beliefs mostly focused on producing a legacy of wealth, accumulating wealth, having assets to fall back on, and integrating black enterprises into our educational hubs. For example, with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is out of the ordinary for Black-owned businesses to be established on campus. Rollins-Tucker explained how HBCU campuses should have Black-owned restaurants on campus so that the black dollar is being redistributed into our community. In agreement, McCants stated that our investments and dollars made by us should be going back to us. For instance, our communities, HBCUs, and financial institutions such as black owned banks should be recycling our money. He then went on to say that we need to bring people to the table that align with our goals.
The benefits of the stock market were the topic of the following question. Rollins-Tucker was introduced to the stock market at a young age despite not understanding much about it. She didn’t understand that stocks represent partial ownerships of companies until she was a little older. Investing in the stock market always carries some risk, but with the right information and understanding, purchases may be worthwhile. The two panelists concurred that the stock market investing may be profitable given enough time, knowledge, and initiative.
When asked about Black loan rates, McCants responded that due to inadequate marketing efforts and resource shortages, Black-owned loan companies may trail non-black-owned loan companies in terms of interest rates. He debunks the misleading notion that they are less competitive than their counterparts, nevertheless. Rollins-Tucker emphasized the value of teaching young people about investing and finding dependable people to manage their money.
When asked how to invest in stocks, Rollins-Tucker blessed the audience with great knowledge. She said that it is crucial to comprehend your investment goals and numbers. She also advised investing in local brokerage firms and businesses you feel comfortable investing with, when distributing your money to areas like retirement savings. She lists saving, consistency, and self-education as the three primary components of investing, emphasizing the phrase “Start small and expand from there.”
How can people bring African American-owned businesses to our historically black educational institutions despite gentrification was the topic of the discussion’s last question. McCants started off by clearing up common misunderstandings about the subject. Several HBCUs are established in black communities and are surrounded by black-owned businesses. For instance, he mentions Bennett College and North Carolina A&T State University as examples, saying, “They sit at the heart of the Black community,” which also includes restaurants, law offices, banks, healthcare providers, and financial services. “Why not take advantage of the comprehensive plan of the university and the people in the community and along with the businesses to determine the best interest for us to grow as a community and benefit us,” he concluded.
The panel discussion, which was live-streamed on Facebook and Zoom Webinar, gave the audience insightful tips and knowledge on the Black dollar’s power. Both presenters gave useful responses to all questions from the crowd and gave them advice on how to get the most of their money overall. Terri Copeland, the chapter’s president, concludes the presentation by thanking all the participants.The Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. takes immense enjoyment in using their platform to aid the economic development of the Black community.