Tips From JPMorgan Chase Exec On How Black Businesses Can Overcome Operating Challenges This Year

Challenging forces like inflation and being able to grow revenue are among headwinds Black small business owners are expecting to deal with this year. The post Tips From JPMorgan Chase Exec On How Black Businesses Can Overcome Operating Challenges This Year first appeared on Black Enterprise.

Tips From JPMorgan Chase Exec On How Black Businesses Can Overcome Operating Challenges This Year

Black small businesses are now facing multiple headwinds amid trying to grow their enterprises.

The top challenges for those entrepreneurs heading into 2024 are inflation (44%), being able to grow revenues (23%), and rising taxes (22%), based on responses to JPMorgan Chase’s annual Business Leaders Outlook survey. Minority entrepreneurs were quizzed on many subjects, including their business prospects and topics like AI and inflation.

The survey included data from business leaders in professional services, retail, technology, healthcare, and other industries. Chase provided BLACK ENTERPRISE data on some of the top findings for Black firms that showed:

  • Black small business owners are more likely to apply actions such as offering new products and expanding despite inflation versus other small business owners.
  • Minority respondents are more inclined to seek financing over the next 12 months than their peers overall.
  • This year, minority entrepreneurs are planning to use AI at a higher rate than other proprietors.
  • Minority owned small business owners place less priority than other entrepreneurs surveyed on hiring the right people for their company.

Mikal Quarles, head of community business strategies at JPMorgan Chase, connected with BE through email and offered some feedback on the survey. He provided strategies and resources that Black small businesses should consider to help them to grow, overcome lingering obstacles, and empower their ventures.

BE: Why is inflation, being able to grow revenues, and rising taxes challenges for Black businesses?

Quarles: It’s true that Black businesses can face several challenges – inflation is a big one. When a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs costs ten dollars, you know it’s a reason for concern. At least annually but ideally more frequently, business owners should review payroll expenses, costs of goods sold, and profit margins to make sure their prices are aligned to market demands and the cost of doing business. During that review, a business owner should also look at their competition and assess if their pricing is competitive. Being too far outside of competitors can either make a business product or service appear too expensive or cause it to appear inferior to others.

Growing revenue is so critical to a business. And this is not an “If you build it, they will come” moment. Competition is aggressive, markets shift all the time, and Generative AI will change the way we exist – so we must be thinking about the future. Black businesses statistically are often understaffed, so the owners may have little time to work ON their business because they are so busy working IN their business.

BE: Please explain how Black businesses are prepared to handle other potential headwinds this year, including raising capital to grow or expand and boosting their number of customers?  

Quarles: Regardless of industry, there are tons of resources – both in person and online – that a business owner can tap into that can help them understand trends and to see around corners. For example, business owners can head to to see a range of free articles, courses and tools that gear business owners with everything they need to help start, run and grow their business. I also lead a Chase mentorship program for entrepreneurs, where business owners can receive one-on-one coaching from an experienced senior business consultant. We now offer the program in 21 U.S. cities and have mentored over 5,000 minority business owners since 2021.

We launched a Special Purpose Credit Program in 2022. From this alone, we are seeing more businesses get access to capital from Chase in the majority minority communities and it’s growing year over year.

BE: What new factors or conditions are giving Black entrepreneurs a more optimistic view than their non-diverse peers? Please provide some examples and the reasoning behind that.

Quarles: Business owners in general are optimists, including Black business owners. In most cases, they don’t have generational examples of success and affluence to emulate and seek mentorship. They have grit and an abundance of untapped potential. Our $30 billion commitment is one step we’ve made to further our efforts to support communities, including by helping to grow businesses. I’ve seen business owners who utilize our resources get into their first big box retailer, purchase new real estate that they had rented for decades, and get contracts that help grow their revenues.

RELATED CONTENT: 5 Steps for Strategic Small Business Growth

The post Tips From JPMorgan Chase Exec On How Black Businesses Can Overcome Operating Challenges This Year first appeared on Black Enterprise.