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Inside Conditions Pick your poison C3

BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier Classifieds AUGUST 10-16, 2011 Personal Finance

Black folks lose again and again

(NNPA)—“When you look at this final

agreement that we came to with theWhite House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I’m pretty happy.”—John Boehner, Speaker of the House If Boehner got 98 percent of what he

IT TAKES A STRONG TEAM—Kevin Cameron, Cameil Williams, James Shealey and Larry Pickett; members of the National Black MBA Association, Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter played a pivotal role in establishing their new business initiative. (Photo by Diane Daniels)

Group to assist entrepreneurs

by Diane I. Daniels For New Pittsburgh Courier

Members of the National BlackMBA As-

sociation, Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter are looking for forward thinking African- American business owners. Offering a two-fold opportunity, the

group recently introduced the Professional Business Services Network Program which is recruiting recipients and providers. “This launch is designed to set the

framework to move us into the future,” said CameilWilliams, president of WilliamsManagement, LLC and devel- oper of the program. She described PBSN as a unified economic development initia- tive aimed at positively impacting the con- ditions of African-American businesses in the Pittsburgh region. The new initiative is focused on improv-

ing the economic conditions of small busi- nesses with the primary purpose to strengthen opportunities for en- trepreneurship among African-Americans, said Larry Pickett, the chapter Business and Economic Development Director. The PBSN will focus on providing critical ser- vices needed by African-American busi- ness owners with eligible business owners receiving up to an 80 percent discount on services offered. Professional services are inclusive of but not limited to marketing, legal, accounting and technology.

When it comes to your money, you

should know where you are, where you’re going, and how you’ll get there. This all starts with the dreaded B-word, BUD- GET. The very mention of the word bud- get sets off a feeling of confinement, re- striction, limitation and loss of control. I admit there is a sense of confinement, re- striction, and limitation associated with managing money—but it has nothing to do with a budget.What confines, restricts and limits us is the amount of money we make. Our income! So if you want to spend more, have more, and save more without sacrificing your lifestyle, you sim- ply need to make more.A more formal definition of a budget would be a plan for spending, saving, and investing money. The importance of making a budget and sticking to it is to save for future goals while meeting present obligations. Nobody wants to be tied down and con-

fined—especially when it comes to our money.Most of us hold the position that it’s my money and I’m going to do as I please.You showed up to work, bust your butt and earned it. I’m with you—do as

Eligibility requires recipients and

providers to be current members in good standing with the NBMBAAPGH; to com- plete a PBSN eligibility application and submit requested information at the time the application is presented; to participate in an interview process with the PBSN ProjectManager and possibly members of the Business and Economic Development Committee; and to attend a matchmaking session. Hired as consultants for the initiative,

Williams and James Shealey, a managing partner in Omni Associates. The two are examples as to how the NBMBAAP strive to fulfill the purpose of the PBSN to strengthen opportunities for en- trepreneurs.WilliamsManagement Solu- tions is a project management firm that develops and manages major economic de- velopment projects.Her responsibilities on the project included designing and launch- ing PBSN as well as conducting a test market initiative. Omni Associates, a one-stop shop that

provides graphic design,marketing, web development, print management and of- fice supplies redesigned the NBMBAAP website and logo. Other businesses involved in the test

market included Acuta Digital Inc.,Meyer, Unkovic and Scott and BynumMarketing and Communications as providers. Recipi- ents were CMU Solutions, Cosmos Tech- nologies, Inc. and the People Insurance

Agency, Inc. Established in 1984, the mission of the

NBMBAAP is to create economic and in- tellectual wealth in the African-American community.An affiliate of the National BlackMBA Association, a national organi- zation founded in 1970, the non-profit group consists of a mix of minorityMBAs, business professionals, entrepreneurs and MBA students. It encompasses over 40 chapters in major cities nationwide and Canada with close to 8,000 members working in both private and public sectors throughout the country. The group shares a commitment to education and business; what they consider two principal keys to the economic development of the African- American community. One of 11 chapters based in the Eastern Region, the Pitts- burgh chapter is the first and only offering the PBSN. Enthusiastic about the organization na-

tionally and locally, Kevin Cameron, NBMBAAP president since 2008 believes his chapter has to bring solutions to chal- lenges facing the community. “We are on a journey. Our goal is to leverage resources.” With the vision to become the premiere

Black professional organization in the Greater Pittsburgh Region by 2012, Cameron said he and the executive com- mittees’ goals to accomplish such an un- dertaking are to increase the membership


you please! Just do it on purpose with a plan that includes your needs, goals, desires, responsibil- ities, and commit- ments. Otherwise doing what pleases you today without planning can be the catalyst for what will destroy you tomorrow—financially speaking. Now that we have a basic understand-

Budget sculpting Damon Carr

The Carr Report

ing of why a budget is important, how do we know that our budget is something that needs to be followed or something that needs to be changed. If you’re barely making it month to month or have “too much month left at the end of your money”, the telltale signs are evident— SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE. But what is that something? How do you

wanted from the debt ceiling deal, what did the other side get? I haven’t heard the opposing side give its percentage yet. Of course, there was Representative Em- manuel Cleaver, who said the deal was a “Satan Sandwich.” The quandary here is that if 98 percent of the deal was pleasing to the Repubs, does that leave two percent for the Dems? And if that’s not true, and the Dems say they got 98 percent of what they wanted, or even 50 per- cent, it means that both parties wanted pretty much the same thing.You can’t have more than 100 percent of anything. I wonder how this debt ceiling deal

James Clingman Blackonomics

makes most Black people feel.Are you fired-up mad about it or do you think it was pretty good? Considering the latest statistics on the net worth gap between Blacks andWhites, overall, we should un- derstand that we are in deeper trouble than we were before the deal. But,many of us were asleep about 10 years ago when the net worth gap was reported to be about 10 to 1 in favor ofWhite house- holds. Now that it’s 20 to 1, with Black households having a median net worth of $5,766.00, and 35 percent of our families having a zero or negative net worth, we are all riled up. Top off that news with the latest debt

ceiling deal and the highest unemploy- ment rate in the nation and what we have is a real serious problem folks. But you al- ready knew that I’m sure.We will now see cuts in federally subsidized student loans, Head Start, and food stamps, in addition to the loss of more than 300,000 jobs. Black folks won’t be left out of that equa- tion. The Brookings Institute issued a report

written byWilliamG.Gale, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, pointing out: “It does not seemfair or reasonable to impose virtually the entire cost of this part of the fiscal bur- den on poor andmiddle-class households, but that is exactly what this bipartisan act of Congress and theWhiteHouse does. Without tax increases in either part of the current deal or in the foreseeable future,


quickly identify the area in your budget that’s causing you problems?What if the telltale signs are not so appar- ent? You pay your bills on time each and every month. You have a few dol- lars left after the

dust settles.Are you moving in the right direction? You manage to get the num- bers to balance, but are you sacrificing your children’s college fund, your retire- ment plan, your entertainment and recre- ational activity or tithing? If you’re cur- rently doing well financially, wouldn’t you like to do better? A healthy budget recog- nizes that there are a lot of things we need, want, and desire in life—all of which have a price tag attached to them. A healthy budget does not limit or re-

strict you to pursue the things you desire in life. It simply helps you to understand that money is finite. There’s only so much of it that will flow through our hands and we have to make the most of it. I’ve compiled some budget percentage

guidelines that will help guide you to en- sure that as you spend money and obli- gate yourself to payments, you have con- sidered that there are other things you want to do in life that requires money. These budget percentage guidelines will ensure that you’re not overspending or under funding a particular category. •Tithing/Charitable Giving—10-15 per-

cent •Housing—25-35 percent •Food—5-15 percent •Utilities—5-10 percent •Transportation—10-15 percent •Clothing—3-7 percent •Savings—5-15 percent •Medical/Health—2-7 percent •Insurance—5 percent •Personal—5-7 percent


Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing C6-C7


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