Can Free Enterprise Cure Urban Ills?: Lost Opportunities for Business Development in Urban, Low-Income Communities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program

By Jackson, Janet Thompson | The University of Memphis Law Review, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Can Free Enterprise Cure Urban Ills?: Lost Opportunities for Business Development in Urban, Low-Income Communities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program


Jackson, Janet Thompson, The University of Memphis Law Review


"[The New Markets Initiative] is free enterprise. It's using the tax system to prove that the [free] enterprise system can work in every community in America. "x

INTRODUCTION

The tradition of entrepreneurship in the African-American community has a long and significant history. At one time, businesses owned by residents served as cornerstones in the community structure. Today, black-owned enterprises are "among the fastest-growing segments of our economy."2 Many minorityowned businesses, however, struggle to flourish in urban, lowincome communities, even as these communities receive lifegiving transfusions from business development programs, such as me New Markets Tax Credit Program.3 While the New Markets Program has succeeded in bringing economic development to many urban and rural areas, it has missed the opportunity to significantly invest in minority-owned businesses in low-income urban communities.

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and I have very fond memories of my neighborhood. We lived in the "city proper," in a well-kept residential community that was bordered by a thriving commercial area. As I recall, we did not have to look outside our community to obtain most of the things we needed. The pharmacy, dry cleaner, beauty shop, "five-and-dime store," our church, and even die funeral home were all nearby. And almost all of those enterprises were black-owned. The same held true for most communities near mine. People felt a sense of pride that they could patronize a local black-owned business and know that their money contributed to die well-being of their community.

When I go back to my old neighborhood, I see that most of the residents still maintain well-kept homes and manicured lawns, and the commercial area is trying to survive. Other communities, however, struggle to move beyond a state of despair. Until recently, one such neighborhood, the Central area, was best known for drug dealing and run-down public housing. That area, along with several other neighborhoods, suffered greatly as a result of the civil rights riots in the mid-1960s. The Cleveland Race Riots, or Hough Riots, left much of the Central area in a hopeless state, with plywood replacing welcoming windows in storefronts and, eventually, with liquor stores and check-cashing shops holding business where several small, African-American owned retail shops once stood. Until recently, Central area residents did not even have a nearby grocery store.

Amid an American free enterprise economic system that has created one of the wealthiest and most productive societies in the world today, one wonders what opportunities exist for communities like Central. In a time when U.S. companies are flooding to invest in India, Latin America, and China, what chance do the bypassed low-income communities in this country have? One wonders what it will take for urban, minority communities that face double-digit unemployment, high crime, failing schools, and otiier indices of poverty to re-enter into the economic mainstream. As a rule, private-sector investment, a critical component to economic development, has long lagged in poor urban areas. Traditional, public-sector participation has been largely under-funded and misdirected. Effective urban revitalization will require combining private and public, social and economic strategies, as well as recognizing that private investment in business development is absolutely essential to renewing poor communities. Yet, to be fully successful, business development in low-income minority areas must include significant investment in minority-owned businesses.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program, originally authorized by Congress in December 2000, represents the latest effort in the trend to use tax policy to stimulate economic development in distressed urban and rural communities. The New Markets Program permits investors to invest in qualified businesses in low-income communities through designated private entities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Can Free Enterprise Cure Urban Ills?: Lost Opportunities for Business Development in Urban, Low-Income Communities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.