Chicago, Once a Mecca for Black-Owned Businesses, Is Losing Ground on Diversity

Ebony magazineYears ago, the landscape of the Chicago business sector was thriving with an array of businesses owned by African Americans. The city is home to the groundbreaking Ebony magazine, owned by John H. Johnson, a self-made magazine publisher and trailblazer in the publishing industry. His success led to a groundswell of other African Americans eager to own their own businesses.??

But these success stories may be a thing of the past. According to a recent news item in Crain?s, Chicago?s directory of businesses owned by African Americans is shrinking.

And Ariel Investments founder and CEO, John Rogers, isn?t happy about it.?

?The reality is, we are not being included in the lucrative, fast-growing parts of our economy?the sectors where long-term, real wealth is created: hedge funds, private equity, investment banking,? Mr. Rogers says.??The state of diversity in the finance industry is appalling. Ninety-nine percent of leaders talk a big game, but in places like Chicago, we have gone backwards. We’re just not fighting hard enough.?

The article suggests that the shift in cultural and consumer-buying patterns is one of the complex reasons for the downturn.

Read more at Crain?s Chicago Business.?