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BUSINESS Entrepreneur Makes 'Buying Black' Easier By Lauren Poteat WI Contributing Writer For the first time in over 80 years, everyday working-class citizens now have the unique opportunity to buy shares in new companies. Taking full advantage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act established in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, Atlanta-based African-American entrepreneur and web developer Jibril Sulaiman has created Spendwith, the first-ever shopping app for smartphones that makes it easier for minority cultures and demographics to find and support like-minded businesses.

"The purpose of this new app is to make it easy for black consumers to find and support black-owned businesses," Sulaiman said. "Not only that, but it also supports Latino consumers who are looking to find and support Latino-owned business, LGBT owned businesses, Asian-American, Muslim-owned and and so forth." Though the equity crowdfunding was established in 2012, the Title III provision did not officially go into effect until May 2016, leaving few minority-owned companies with the ability to fully take advantage of the new law and thus accept small investments.

5 Jibril Sulaiman, founder of Spendwith /Courtesy photo

"I really wanted to take advantage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act," Sulaiman said. "I think it's important to target spending toward our communities and invest in becoming great entrepreneurs." Though the app is already available on iTunes, Sulaiman and his company are looking for funding sources to take the app to the next level with an extended app user base, working capital and future development. Sulaiman recently launched an app campaign to reach its goal of $500K. "People want to feel good

about targeting their spending to help businesses in their community," he said. "This is evident by the popular Buy Black movement. But I've personally witnessed similar movements in other communities, consequently, the co-founders and I wanted to scale the app in a way that provided the largest impact. Therefore, we created a multi-culture solution and one of a kind business model. "In no way am I saying that Spendwith will be the next Facebook and in no way can I promise that we will even be successful," Sulaiman said. "But with experi-

Activists Wary of Trump Funding for 2020 Census By Tatyana Hopkins WI Staff Writer Civil rights groups worry that inadequate preparations are being made for the upcoming 2020 Census. A fumbled census could have rippling effects on issues such as funding levels for education and health care, redistricting and the implementation of the Voting Rights Act, as census data is used to make determinations about how to distribute billions of dollars of federal funds to local municipalities and the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Constitution mandates a national census every 10 years, but civil rights leaders and census experts have cited several ongoing policy decisions that could put the 2020 Census at risk.

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In 2015, The District received $3 billion ($4,500 per capita) in federal funds from 16 census-guided programs, according to a recent George Washington University study. Maryland received $10.1 billion (1,800 per capita) and Virginia received $10.9 billion ($1,200 per capita). On a national press call, census experts named a number of variables "out of the [U.S. Census Bureau's] control" that put the 2020 Census at jeopardy, such as lack of sufficient funding from Congress for on-time census planning and preparations, and the need for a highly qualified and widely respected professional to serve as the next Senate-confirmed director of the bureau. "A cost-effective census is always a worthwhile goal ‌ but cost considerations can never

enced founders at the helm of a unique startup, and by using the new law, we give regular working people the chance to make an educated choice on whether or not they'd want to invest in our company early on. "On various social media outlets including Facebook, I've see too many posts about 'buying black,' but so little on where actually to go," he said. "People want to be involved with and spend money on black companies and other demographics and I want to be able to make that possible." WI outweigh efforts to achieve an accurate count in all communities," said Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director of the House Census and Population Subcommittee and a consultant to The Leadership Conference Education Fund. "A good census is an investment in everything we hold dear in this country: a representative democracy; government that is accountable to the people; business and industry investment to drive economic growth, good jobs and innovation." After the 2010 Census, Congress set the first-ever cap on census costs, directing the bureau to spend no more on the 2020 Census than it did on the 2010 Census, but later decided to give the 2020 Census even less funding than in 2010. In 2017, Congress did not allocate sufficient funds and the Trump administration has requested less funding in 2018

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The Washington Informer - August 31, 2017  
The Washington Informer - August 31, 2017  

The Washington Informer - August 31, 2017