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Now is the time for Black pound power

SPENDING POWER: There is no better time for black Britons to get what they want out of this economy.

THERE’S NOTHING quite like hard times to make businesses take their black customers seriously.

The recent demise of Clinton Cards, with the closure of hundreds of its shops and the laying off of thousands of employees, is a case in point. For decades black customers were pointing out to the company that they could do more to market black-interest cards to a clientele that were crying out for it. The company was, to say the least, sluggish in waking up and smelling the coffee. But when they eventually did, it was like they were paying lip service to the growing demand for black-interest greeting cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards and the like.

It defies comprehension, because the black market spends more than the white market. If the stats are to be believed we spend like there's no tomorrow.  Whilst our white counterparts are watching the pennies and our Asian neighbours are saving, we are working hard to splash out on that new Beamer and three holidays a year in the Caribbean.

With stats like that you would have thought any company on their last legs would turn to the black market and say please come and spend your hard-earned cash with us.

A lot of companies are, of course, doing this. You cannot switch on your telly nowadays without seeing a black face in almost every advert. Whether it be for train tickets, hamburgers or even cider, it appears that companies are telling advertising firms in these desperate times to stick one or two black faces in their commercials. And that is to be welcomed. Not just for black actors and models but for the whole economy.

But we have to make demands in return for our spending power. We should not just spend this country out of recession for free. We need something back in return. Now is the time to look at the way African-Americans use their spending power to bring the likes of Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken to invest their profits in the ‘hoods and black colleges, and to enable black franchises to also get a slice of the American pie.

There is no better time for black Britons to get what they want out of this economy than now.

Dotun Adebayo is Britain’s most listened-to black radio talk show host. He presents ‘Up All Night’ on BBC Radio 5 live Thursdays through Sundays on 909/693 MW. ‘The Sunday Night Special’ on BBC 94.9FM and ‘Reggae Time’ on BBC London 94.9FM on Saturday evenings. Tune in if you’re ranking!

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