A banquet hosted by Topeka non-profit IBSA Inc., celebrated area African-American business ownership at a banquet held June 15 at the Senate Suites, Topeka.

Dell Gines, senior community development advisor for the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, was the keynote presenter.

Gines spoke of the importance of business ownership to the African-American community. While you hear people talk about a wage gap and a wealth gap, Gines says what really matters is a business ownership gap, something you never hear anyone talk about.

The short coming, said Gines, is “leakage,” money going out of the community. He made his case with lots of statistics. One of the more interesting stats was the business to purchasing power ratio.

Using Wichita numbers, he pointed out that White businesses create $5 billion in revenue, and the White community’s purchasing power is $2.5 b.illion. That’s a 2 to 1 positive ratio. Comparatively, Black businesses create just $19 million in revenue, and the Black community’s buying power is $251 million. That’s a .08 to 1 negative ratio.

“Puzzle on the implications of this,” Gines told the audience. “Who are we making money for.”

The informative dinner was a fundraiser for IBSA, an organization that provides advocacy and integrated services to youth offenders, low-income persons and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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