Two things. As desegregation spread, minority consumers were attracted to shops where they hadn’t been welcome before. At the same time, chains were putting “mom & pop stores” out of business — in both the black and white communities. But the chains rarely invested in minority communities. While we now expect to see a Walgreens at every major intersection and several Publix stores near our homes, the closest supermarket to Newtown, the north Trail Winn-Dixie, is closing. Without a thriving business community, consumers have limited access to goods and services and workers have few job opportunities.
How can we address this problem (which is not unique to Sarasota, or Florida)? Our November speaker has some answers.
Al Piña is Chair of the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition and President of Urban Redevelopment Solutions, Inc. Piña cites statistics showing that untapped potential for economic growth exists in minority communities. Tapping this potential would significantly enhance Florida’s overall economy. He will present a framework for analyzing Florida’s minority markets, and discuss a community economic development tool to integrate inner city assets (including consumption and labor) into the local and regional economy.
Al Piña is an urban community economic development professional in the field of community economic development in minority communities. He uses his extensive for-profit corporate experience to offer market-based arguments for investing in neglected areas.
Join us on Sat., Nov. 13 to learn more about how Democrats can encourage business investment in minority markets and grow Florida’s economy.