Online Hotel 101
Choice Hotels International Inc. launched a Web site to educate nontraditional hoteliers and minority entrepreneurs about the franchise and lodging industries. The site, http://www.choicehotelsfranchise.com/emerging_markets, includes details on the lodging business cycle, a step-by-step guide to hotel development and the benefits of the business delivery systems offered by hotel franchisors. Choice previously established the Choice Hotels African American Owners Alliance (CHAAOA) and the Choice Hotels Hispanic Owners and Managers Alliance (CHHOMA) to provide networking opportunities for African-American and Hispanic franchisees to share best practices and experiences.
Urban Is a State of Mind
A report by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, says hip-hop consumers living in relatively small cities, towns and rural areas outside the 100 largest metropolitan areas generally reflect the same attitudes and values expressed by their metropolitan-dwelling counterparts. The report, “The U.S. Urban Youth Market: Tapping the Power of the Trendsetting Hip-Hop Culture and Lifestyle,” examines the world of the 24 million 15- to 29-year-olds who connect with hip-hop music, affiliate with hip-hop culture and have a purchasing power of $500 billion. It says the hip-hop cultural experience crosses racial lines and is preferred by females, 58.8 percent, versus 41.2 percent males.
The African-American market’s buying power could reach $981 billion by 2010, according to the report “The U.S. African American Market,” by Packaged Facts. The report shows that African-Americans in the West and Northeast have higher average incomes than those in the Midwest and the South and account for a disproportionate share of the aggregate income of African-Americans. The report says African-Americans tend to be left behind when it comes to marketing and advertising because Hispanics are expected to have more rapid population growth. It urges marketers to tap into African-American segments that outpace their Hispanic counterparts, such as those with incomes greater than $50,000; owner-occupied households; married-couple families and African-American women.
Investing for Success
The National Urban League and the Investment Company Institute Edu-cation Foundation (ICIEF) developed an “Investing for Success” program to help African-Americans become more knowledgeable about investing for retirement and taking advantage of opportunities to accumulate wealth. The partnership recommends seven steps for investing: get started, set goals, understand risk, ask questions, develop realistic expectations, take the long-term view and develop an action plan. It offers free three-hour workshops as well as a Web course at http://www.investingforsuccess.org.
Global consultants Frost & Sullivan, www.frost.com, says significant business opportunities are available in the North American fine chemicals market, particularly in pharmaceutical intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients, contract biopharmaceuticals and agrochemical intermediates. The firm says the biopharmaceutical market is attracting increased venture-capital funding and hence contract biopharmaceuticals is poised for excellent growth. The pharmaceutical intermediates business is undervalued, therefore making it the perfect time for participants to enter the market, while an influx of R&D spending will lead to a turnaround in the agrochemical industry, the firm says.
Actress Hattie McDaniel will be recognized as the 29th inductee into the Black Heritage Series at the commemorative postage stamp ceremony honoring her, according to African American Women In Cinema and the United States Post Office. The Hattie McDaniel stamp image is based on a photograph of her accepting the 1939 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Gone with the Wind. McDaniel appeared in more than 300 films and extended her acting career to television.
African-American owned ZeroChaos, a leading staffing firm, acquired FlexCorp Systems, a New York City provider of strategic contractor payrolling and staffing solutions to large companies. The acquisition brings together two of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. ZeroChaos was recently ranked no. 71 on the 2005 Inc. 500 list, and FlexCorp ranked 119. Their combined expertise will bring to the market a significant offering for companies in managing the rapidly changing demographics in a work force. Those changes include the nearly 40 percent of the professional work force that will become eligible for retirement in the next four years.
A new Web site, www.chocolatebrides.com, caters exclusively to brides of color. The bridal industry generates approximately $37 billion annually, with African-Americans spending nearly $16,000 per wedding. The site is aimed at brides-to-be, the pre-engaged, pregnant, just married and “veteran” brides who have been happily married for several years. It offers a message board, a shopping mall and no-nonsense tips on such subjects as makeup, dressing up looks and dealing with an unruly soon-to-be mother-in-law. It also serves as an advertising medium for minority businesses in the bridal industry that cannot afford to promote their products and services in mainstream media.
A new book, “300 Best Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree,” by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin (JIST Publishing, 2006), helps readers make good decisions about what career they should pursue based on their education, interests or needs. The authors used data from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network database and other sources to create a reference guide for people who want to explore new career options without going back to school, or for those wanting a new job but who cannot or do not want to go to school for four years. The book provides 60 “best jobs” lists, covering jobs that pay the most, are growing quickly, have numerous openings and are best for part-time work or self-employment.
Conference on Prejudice
Social psychologists attending a major academic conference on prejudice and discrimination report that 80 percent to 85 percent of the U.S. white population remains prejudiced against Blacks and more people are prejudiced than think they are. Sponsors of the conference, which was held last fall, included the Psychology Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, David L. Weiner, psychology author and CEO of Marketing Support Inc., Chicago; the American Psychological Association; and the Department of Afro-American studies at the university.