Starting a small business requires a lot more than just a good idea. Owners, prospective owners and entrepreneurs need a solid foundation to build on. In her years as a Black woman in the banking industry, Tina Williams saw firsthand how many minorities and those from underserved, under-represented and disenfranchised communities got shut out from the crucial bank funding they needed to get started. Not because of bad credit or bad ideas – but because they lacked access to knowledge about the banking process and how to actually get a small business up and running.
When she started QT Business Solutions, Tina vowed to do better. In addition to QT’s core mission to write business plans and grant applications that get funded, Tina has organized numerous free training sessions for small business owners to get them the information and education they need to succeed. “Nobody else is telling them these things,” she said. “But QT Business Solutions is.”
The need for these services is real. During the pandemic, minority-owned businesses suffered greater losses than white-owned businesses. As reported by CBS News, an H&R Block survey of almost 3,000 small business owners found that 53% of Black owners saw revenue drop by half, compared to 37% of white owners, in 2020 due to the pandemic. Black business owners also had more trouble establishing an online presence – which helped many businesses pivot, especially during state-ordered lockdowns. Black-owned firms, the survey also found, were more likely to have customers submit late payments.
The need is also longstanding. McKinsey & Company, the global managing and consulting firm, found that, while Black Americans are more likely to start businesses than any other ethnic group, they face significant hurdles to doing so: 47% of Black business owners’ requests for loans were approved, compared with 75% for white business owners. And when they are approved, Black owners received one-third the start-up capital an average white-owned firm received. Tragically, just 4% of Black-owned businesses are still in operation after 3 1/2 years, compared to 55% of all U.S. businesses combined.*
QT Business Solutions helps close those gaps with many of its services.
Every quarter, QT is joined by Comerica Bank in sponsoring the Business Boost Bootcamp, a series of four weekly webinars on topics small business owners need to know. The content is continually updated to capture business and economic trends. Experts from companies like Comerica and ADP will join to offer their knowledge and insights.
Tina Williams will be the host, and will be joined by Linda Nosegbe, Southeast External Affairs Manager and National Community Impact, Lending & Investments Vice President at Comerica, whose job puts her in constant contact with small businesses looking for access to capital. Thus, Linda has a unique and well-informed perspective to share. Tina can confirm how much help Comerica has to give: During the early days of the pandemic, Comerica gave QT a much-needed $10,000 grant to expand its assistance to small businesses and a long-term partnership was begun.
Small business owners at any stage in the journey are welcome to join the next Business Boost Bootcamp series starting Wednesday, August 10 at 9:30 a.m. To register in advance for this meeting, go to https://bit.ly/3zbBouG.
After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.
The sessions, which run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., will cover the following topics:
August 10th Ask a Banker small business questions
August 17th Online Marketing
August 24th Resources available to small business owners
August 31st Access to capital
Attendees who come and stay for the entirety of all four sessions will be entered into a drawing to receive one of QT’s business services free of charge.
Though QT helps underserved communities, the company welcomes all current and prospective business owners and nonprofit leaders to learn more. All are welcome to join Tina and Linda and other business experts and give their business the Boost it needs.
*This information was reported by SCORE, a national, small business-focused nonprofit.
QT Business Solutions
24901 Northwestern Highway
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No TIMES OF SURAT journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.