An Open Letter to Civic, Community, and Business Leaders

Joe HUdson

Joseph R. (Uncle Joe) Hudson

Here is an idea that will work.

Based upon my experience and involvement with Black business and the Black community, I recommend that City of Atlanta leaders and other conveners around the decisions involving the new Atlanta Falcons retractable roof dome deal consider: Using Black Businesses as an economic engine and capable creator/stimulator of jobs in Vine City on the Stadium Deal!

My recommendation is built around two sound points according to renown economist Dr. Danny Boston, President of Euquant and GA Tech Professor.

1) Approximately 2/3 of the employees of a Black small business will reflect the ownership of the business. In other words, most of the employees of a Black business will be Black.

2) 44% of Black businesses are located in a high risk area.
Couple those facts with the knowledge that Black small businesses are more likely to employ the unemployable and under-employable.

It is through the utilization of Black businesses and locally based non-profits as a primary contractors, concessionaires, designers, service providers, or support organizations that almost automatic employment of persons from Vine City and other inner city local communities will result.

My proposition:

That the project utilize a Return on Investment Strategy (ROI) approach instead of one based upon Entitlement or Affirmative Action. With the ROI approach the contracting opportunities associated with the Dome would be considered “Contracting Investments” with an expected “Economic Return”. The Value Proposition of an economic return will be met through the natural creation of jobs, local taxes and turning over the dollar in the community by companies most likely to hire the residents and keep them employed .

The probability of the Black businesses hiring residents from the Vine City, English Avenue and West End communities when developing their labor force is potentially strong. The ability to meet Equal Business Opportunity challenges is also met. Further, this approach can be easily monitored and measured for compliance.

This approach addresses two problems at the same time and shares the responsibility for solution with those most affected. It also provides a mechanism to turn the dollar over in the community creating an economic stimulus supportive of larger community development goals. And, the probability of the creation of an employment legacy is greater using businesses with an affinity for the community.

With business and civic leadership support this approach could bring even greater benefits to Vine City and the City of Atlanta while supporting the project’s requirements for quality contractors . The Black businesses could be vetted to meet requirements with the expectation that their utilization will bring about economic return to city and the neighborhoods greater than outside of Atlanta contractors etc.

This is simple and will work.

I am sharing this approach with as many persons, organizations and media as I can. And, I am available for further discussion or idea refinement.


Joseph R. Hudson

Unabashed Black Business and Inner City Commerce Advocate
Former President:
• Interracial Council for Business Opportunity
• Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council
• Atlanta Business League