Do Black Entrepreneurs Have Workers' Backs?
The Bottom Line: A report on benefits planning says yes. Plus: Rum ad fails, and Ludacris' new eatery.
The boomers' children, who have seen their parents' jobs, pensions and benefits disappear, also demand to know the value of a prospective firm's retirement plan in their own job searches.
Stith, a Norfolk State University graduate who earned his M.B.A. and Ph.D. in marketing at the Whitman School, said that foresight compels black entrepreneurs to assist their workers. "When the economy comes back full throttle, they want to have a stable employment base. No one wants to lose experienced workers who will deliver products and services. Benefits are part of your reward system."
That is Evan Nwanko's strategy. Since 2010 a weakened economy has forced Nwanko to trim the workforce of his Cincinnati construction-management and general-contracting firm from 48 to 35. But he plans to continue offering a 401(k) plan, profit sharing and an "above average" benefits package to his present employees as well as to future hires.
Other CEOs get that. The tricky part is convincing them that a retirement plan won't bust their budget. Katrina Keyes, chair of public affairs at the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, said that the group sponsors regular meetings with financial and estate planners to disabuse company owners of that notion.
In fact, Keyes, owner of K Strategies, a local public-affairs firm, hired a speaker from the chamber, Jesse Abercrombie, to help create a plan for her 10-person company. Abercrombie, who is African American and works for national investment firm Edward Jones, said that he has helped more than 20 black-owned Dallas companies develop their retirement packages.
Keyes says that she has two goals for her firm's retirement plan, in which she matches 3.5 percent of each employee contribution: She wants her employees to build capital as well as draw a salary; she also wants to expand wealth in the black community.
That's a financial plan everyone can back.
Bacardi Nostalgia Ad Evokes Past Bias
The New York Times reported on Friday how companies refresh themselves in the minds of consumers by using old or nostalgic ad imagery. It's cute to see a revision of Charlie Tuna, the suicidal StarKist mascot, and the "I'm one of a kind" Dr. Pepper print ad reminiscent of the 1970s "Be a Pepper" campaign.
But rum maker Bacardi blew it with its "History is supposed to be boring. Nobody told us" advertisement. A party circa 1957, perhaps in Miami, Havana or San Juan, is swinging. The clothes, hairstyles and conviviality hit the right notes. Folks are getting their drink on; it looks like a fun time.
Until you see that anyone with noticeable melanin is on the gala's periphery.