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Obstacles or Opportunities? Small Business in California

African-American business owners face many obstacles to starting a small business in California, but some of these obstacles can become opportunities or the doorway to new possibilities. The California Black Chamber of Commerce gives people with a dream of owning a small business the assistance they need to overcome obstacles and recognize opportunities so that they can succeed.

Common Obstacles to Starting a Small Business in the Black Community

Starting a business has many challenges for anyone, but African-Americans often face their own particular set of obstacles in addition to the usual ones. The biggest obstacle faced by anyone wanting to start a business is finding the capital to make it happen. Although many gains have been made, those in the black community often have more difficulty finding financing and investors than others. It's difficult to get around the problem of capital, but organizations like CBCC can help African-Americans to learn about loan and grant programs designed to encourage minorities to start businesses and to find sources of funding. These programs are opportunities for minorities designed to level the playing field and give them more options. Another obstacle to business ownership is the lack of business knowledge. Business owners in the black community often lack mentors who can teach us what we need to know. Business leadership role models can be few and far between due to lower numbers of black-owned businesses. Finding supportive organizations like CBCC and others can be a great help to fledgling business owners. The more businesses that are started by African-Americans, the more mentors and role models there will be for the succeeding generations. Although there are challenges to African-American businesses in California, CBCC provides many useful resources.

Challenges to California Small Businesses California presents many advantages as well as challenges to those who would like to start businesses here. Although the economy in the U.S. as a whole has been challenging, it continues to show signs of growth. California is no exception. As more and more people get jobs, they have more disposable income to spend on goods and services such as those provided by new small businesses and startups. Minimum wage increases also present challenges to small businesses without much capital and can lead to staffing difficulties and an inability to scale up in some cases. Businesses must plan for higher minimum wage requirements and figure out how to make a profit in spite of these increased costs. Health insurance continues to be a big concern and there are resources to help find affordable coverage options to help maintain a healthy workforce. New technologies like automation and VoIP phone systems can streamline businesses and help them get by with fewer employees when they need to do so. CBCC has resources to help business owners overcome the many challenges of owning a small business within the black community. No one needs to struggle alone. The CBCC is here to give the support needed to help develop your business ideas to the fullest. CBCC's objective is to promote and improve economic development within our communities through advocacy and quarterly training at events like the Leadership Weekend and Ron Brown Business Summit, Capitol Policy Forum, and more. Join the chamber for access to all the resources you need to recognize the opportunties to overcome obstacles to your business success.

Tara Lynn Gray

Chamber Foundation Board of Directors

President & CEO YADARI Enterprises

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