SHOPPE BLACK

Do You Know The Two Types of Credit Scoring Models?

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If you’re just beginning to track your credit score regularly, you can be confused about where to start. Which credit score should you check? Your FICO Score or VantageScore? Is tracking one of them sufficient, or should you monitor both? How are these models of credit scoring different?

This article explains and breaks down the differences between these credit scoring models. Keep reading to know more!

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that represents a borrower’s creditworthiness. It’s determined based on your credit history, including your open accounts, the total amount of outstanding debt, credit repayment history, and other such factors.

Credit scoring models use a 300-850 point credit scoring scale, with each credit score falling within a specific range. Your scores influence a lender’s decision to offer you credit. They help lenders understand how you’ve used credit in the past and how you’re likely to use credit in the future. The higher your score, the better you look to potential lenders.

What Are the Main Credit Scoring Models?

Although there are different types of credit scores, most of them fall under two main credit scoring models: FICO and VantageScore. Both your FICO Score and your VantageScore measure your financial stability and how likely you are to repay your debt. However, there are a few minor differences between them. Keep reading to know more!

FICO Model

The Fair Isaac Corporation first developed the FICO credit score in 1989. Over 90% of top lenders use FICO scores to make lending decisions. FICO regularly updates its credit scoring models to accommodate changes in the industry and provides a more nuanced perspective of a borrower’s creditworthiness

FICO uses the following ranges to determine your credit rating:

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very Good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 300-579

According to FICO, a score between 670 and 739 is considered good, and it can help you secure lower interest rates from your lenders.

Five factors determine your FICO score, and each of these factors carries a different weightage. They are as follows:

  • Payment history, which measures your on-time payments. (35%)
  • Amounts owed are the debt you’re carrying relative to your credit limits. (30%)
  • Length of credit history measures how long you’ve been handling credit. (15%)
  • New credit measures how often you apply for new credit. (10%)
  • Credit mix measures how you handle different types of credit, such as credit cards and loans. (10%)

VantageScore Model

In 2006, three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, in collaboration, created the VantageScore credit score model. The VantageScore model uses many of the same factors as the FICO credit score model to determine your credit score. However, it weighs these factors differently.

In the FICO model, your payment history is the most significant factor affecting your credit score. However, in the VantageScore Model, your credit utilization ratio is the most influential factor in credit scoring.

The VantageScore credit score ranges are as follows:

  • Excellent: 781-850
  • Good: 661-780
  • Fair: 601-660
  • Poor: 500-600
  • Very Poor: 300-499

The VantageScore model uses the following factors to calculate your credit score:

  • Total credit usage, balance, and available credit (Extremely Influential)
  • Credit mix and experience (Highly Influential)
  • Payment history (Moderately Influential)
  • Age of credit history (Less Influential)
  • New accounts (Less Influential)

If you have further questions about calculating your score and which model to follow, get in touch with a credit bureau.

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5 Ways to Expand Your Business

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When it comes to running a business, one of your main goals is to maximize your profits. One way to do that is to expand your business. However, funds are needed to take your business to the next level of growth.

That’s where an acquisition loan comes into play. With an acquisition loan, several business owners have been able to expand their companies. But aside from that, there are many other ways you can further develop and grow your business.

We’ve put together a list of five ways you can grow your business.

1.  Research the Competition

Whatever your business may be, the marketplace tends to be a highly competitive space with multiple vendors selling similar products or services. One way to stay ahead of the competition is to do thorough research on what other businesses have to offer and the strategies they implement and embrace new concepts that could work for your business.

2.  Implement a Loyalty Program

Implementing loyalty programs can help increase sales and help you upscale your business. Research shows that acquiring new customers tends to be more expensive than selling to an existing customer.

However, with a customer loyalty program, businesses can retain existing customers while also attracting new leads who can contribute to your business’s growth. A customer loyalty program can be designed, developed, and implemented to work with both existing and new customers.

3.  Identify Opportunities That Complement the Business

Another way to expand your company is to start diversifying your offers and selling products that compliment your existing business.

Essentially, by tackling your consumer base’s pain points and identifying the possibilities, you can take advantage of the opportunities within your niche and further grow your business.

4.  Consider Entering a Franchise Model

If your business is booming and aims to expand, entering into a franchise model can help. It can make a difference for business owners looking for rapid growth and expansion.

5.  Take over Another Business with an Acquisition Loan

Another way to expand your business is to acquire another company that complements your business with an acquisition loan. This type of loan also allows you to purchase assets.

Acquisition loans are typically given out to business owners looking to expand but don’t have the capital. However, before sanctioning the loan, the lender tends to take into account several factors, including the business owner’s capability to successfully run their expanded business and pay back the loan.

There are different types of acquisition loans, and in order to be eligible for one, your business should be operational for a specific time period.

 

If you’re considering expanding your business and are looking to acquire an acquisition loan, get in touch with Lendistry. They offer a wide range of comprehensive and affordable financial services.

Black Owned Foodservice Business Receives $17M Contract in Boston

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City Fresh Foods is a Black owned foodservice business based in Roxbury, MA. The family-owned business was recently awarded a contract to provide meals to almost 50,000 Boston Public School students starting on July 1.

Sheldon Lloyd is the CEO of City Fresh Foods. He started the company with the goal to provide nutritious, fresh meals to seniors and minorities in the Boston area.

“This is the community feeding the community right here, many of my cooks are going to be feeding their own,” Lloyd said. “We make diverse food, so you have the flavors of the community.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced the $17 million contract is the largest non-construction contract the city has ever issued to a certified Black-owned business.

“[This is a] long time coming,” Lloyd said at the press conference. “Twenty-eight years ago, City Fresh began around the corner on Dudley Street — 1,200-square-foot kitchen with less than 10 employees delivering a couple hundred meals a day. And look at City Fresh now. We produce and deliver thousands of meals every day to residents of the city of Boston and we have a team of 160 locals.”

“City Fresh is building a state-of-the-art institutional foodservice production plant in the heart of Roxbury to provide critical nutrition and flavor to even more children and families in the Greater Boston community for years to come,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd, whose own children are in BPS, said his goal has always been to hire straight from the community and now calls the chance to feed the children of the Boston Public Schools a full-circle moment.

“The mission was to hire local and feed local, hire younger and serve the older community,” Lloyd said. “We were selected because we are from Boston, we had the best proposal, we know the city well and we have a special connection to the community because we are a reflection of the community.”

Cover photo by Morgan C. Mullings

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$1.7 Million in Student Debt Erased for Black Women at Bennett College

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In North Carolina, students at Bennett College with past-due tuition bills in collection will see $1.7 million of their debts erased.

A union of borrowers known as the Debt Collective purchased and paid off the student loans of nearly 500 Black women at Bennett, an all-women liberal arts HBCU in Greensboro.

Bennett College issued this statement about the cancellation:

“We understand that this has been an exceptionally challenging time and want to ease people’s burdens. The debts that were erased for these 462 individuals were debts owed directly to the school. These debts are different from federal and private student loans, which we do not have the ability to cancel because they are owned by the federal government.”

The group describes itself as a debtor’s union, with dues-paying members. It’s partially because of those funds that the collective was able to coordinate the buyout of the Bennett College debt.

The Debt Collective acquired the debt through a sister entity known as the Rolling Jubilee, a nonprofit that buys and discharges medical, carceral and other forms of consumer debt.

Braxton Brewington, a spokesman for the organization, said they chose Bennett College in North Carolina because Black women on average have higher student loan balances than any other group of borrowers. The debt cleared does not include federal student loans, only money owed directly to the school.

“These are the people that are really taking the brunt of the student debt crisis,” Brewington said.

Bennett College pulled $1.7 million in student debts the college had sent to collections and instead allowed the Rolling Jubilee to buy it. That price? $50,000, or about three cents on the dollar.

The Debt Collective’s model for eliminating student debts isn’t going to solve the debt crisis. Rather, Brewington said, the group’s hope is to highlight how cheaply and easily debt can be cleared.

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6 Ways to Avoid Burnout in Your Small Business

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While many business owners are passionate about what they do, they may eventually reach a point of overwork, stress, and burnout.

Burnout is not a diagnosable medical condition and is classified as an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organization (WHO). They have even outlined the characteristics of burnout as:

  • A reduction in professional efficiency,
  • An increase in negative feelings like cynicism in relation to one’s job,
  • A lack of energy and exhaustion.

If left unaddressed, burnout can negatively impact an individual’s mental well-being and affect a business’s ability to operate at its best. As a small business owner, it’s important to take a step back from work in order for your business to operate efficiently in the long run.

Read on for tips on avoiding burnout and taking care of your mental health.

1. Take a Break

Taking regular breaks is not a waste of time, despite popular belief. In fact, it’s been found to improve productivity and overall performance. You should also indulge in activities close to the heart, whether catching up with a friend or starting a hobby.

Also, ensure to plan holidays and vacations. This means refraining from official communication unless it’s an emergency.

2. Learn to Identify and Deal With Stress

Stress is one of the primary reasons many small business owners experience burnout, so it’s necessary to nip it in the bud.

The symptoms and signs of stress at work can be physical, psychological, and behavioral. Make sure to identify what triggers stress and work on ways to manage it. Keeping it at bay can boost productivity at work and improve your mental wellbeing.

3. Stay Organised at Work

Not having things organized and in place can leave business owners in no man’s land. If you’re not sure where to find work-related files and folders or a structured workday, it can lead to distraction and more stress.

4. Make a Checklist

If you find that you constantly have a lot on your plate, consider making a checklist of all the tasks and activities that need to be done. You can also add notes, prioritize by deadlines, and mark completed tasks. This will help you stay organized and on top of things.

5. Set Reminders

Despite having a checklist of all the things you need to do, some tasks and activities could remain incomplete. However, setting reminders will help you ensure tasks are completed and on time.

6. Take a Power Nap

Avoiding burnout is essential to the success of a business. For a small business to operate and function productively, it is vital for its owner to remain both mentally and physically healthy.

Research has shown that including power naps in your day can lead to many benefits, including an increase in productivity.

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Grovara Is Transforming Global Trade With a Game Changing B2B Marketplace

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Abu Kamara is the CEO and co-founder of Grovara, the first B2B global marketplace to connect food and beverage brands with international retailers.

To date, Grovara has raised $8.75 million on its quest to transform global trade.

In this episode, Abu shares:

  • The current state of global trade and US exports.
  • The current export process and how Grovara is disrupting it.
  • How they have raised over $8.7 million to date and what the fundraising process has been like.
  • Why he has been intentional about creating a diverse team.
  • Advice for brands that intend to expand into international stores.
  • Building an innovation center in Sierre Leone and mentoring the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

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Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses You Should Know

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Walmart’s recent attempt to commercialize Juneteenth with a new ice cream flavor backfired.

Their “Celebration Edition: Juneteenth Ice Cream,” was met with outrage and has sparked a backlash from many on social media.

Juneteenth ice cream found in a Walmart store in North Carolina.

The company has now pulled the product from its shelves and issued an apology. However, don’t worry, they still have several other Juneteenth related items for sale including the “It’s the freedom for me,” can cooler :/

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

This is a great time to remind all that there are several Black-owned ice cream businesses that we can support, starting with Creamalicious, the brand that originally created the swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavor that Walmart used for its own version.

Black-Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Creamalicious Ice Creams (Nationwide)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Mikey Likes It (New York, NY)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Here’s The Scoop DC (Washington D.C.)

Here's The Scoop Delivery & Takeout | 2824 Georgia Avenue Northwest Washington | Menu & Prices | DoorDash

JD’s Vegan (Select locations nationwide)

JD's Vegan - Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert

 

Taharka Bros. Ice Cream (Baltimore, MD)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Earthy Goodness Vegan (Houston, TX)

black owned ice cream businesses

Ari’s Ice Cream Parlor & Cafe (St. Louis, MO)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Little Giant Ice Cream (Oakland, CA )

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Ruby Scoops Ice Cream & Sweets (Richmond, VA )

HOME | Ruby Scoops

Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats (Alexandria, VA)

 

Whipped Urban Dessert Lab (New York, NY)

 

Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World Ice Cream Shop (Athens, GA)

Cajou Creamery (Baltimore, MD)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Kubé (Oakland, CA)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Double Dipper Ice Cream (Claymont, DE)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

Ice Cream 504 (New Orleans, LA)

 

Tipping Cow (Somerville, MA)

Black Owned Ice Cream Businesses

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Nurse Launches The First Digital Community To Support Maternal Mental Health

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Wolomi is the first online pregnancy community created by a Black nurse for women of color.  The app connects women of color on their pregnancy journey to information and mental health screening.

In recognition of Maternal Mental health month, we spoke to Wolomi founder, Layo George to learm more about her business and her mission to improve the pregnancy journey by connecting women of color to clinically accessible information, culturally sensitive health experts, mental health screenings, midwifery philosophy, & a supportive community!

What inspired you to start Wolomi?

While working as a delivery nurse in the Midwest. I saw firsthand the differences in the level of health care between white women and women of color.

Care gaps for women of color are an overwhelming reality, as they are three times more likely to die in pregnancy and postpartum depression. When I was pregnant with my child, I didn’t want to die, I wanted a safe and positive experience.

My experience was very positive because I created it myself, however, this is not a reality for all women of color. I wanted to help women navigate the system so they would have better pregnancy outcomes, joy and better care.

Wolomi

What are some of the effects of not addressing maternal health?

We have seen during the pandemic that women of color, especially Black women fare worse in the health system during their pregnancy period. We are basically not getting better at this.

The issue is more of the effects of not addressing it properly. Just because a solution is digital does not necessarily make it culturally competent and relevant for women of color.

The side effect of us not addressing maternal health appropriately means women of color are more likely to experience stress, suffer and die during a time that is supposed to be a joyful time.

What are some strategies mothers and mothers-to-be can use to combat maternal health challenges?

  • Make sure that you pick the right provider (doctor, midwife) that understands you, and that you trust.
  • Realize that you are a customer in the healthcare system, always ask questions, amplify the things you like and reject what you don’t.
  • Use tools like the Wolomi App to help you prep and find the words you need when going to your provider (doctor or midwife)
  • Trust your gut and yourself
  • Create a community around you. You can’t do it alone, and it is ok. There are great platforms like the Wolomi App where you can find moms like you on the journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a professional therapist especially when things get rough.

Do you feel that the pandemic has had an effect on maternal mental health?

Oh yes. At the beginning of the pandemic, we got a lot of messages from moms scared, especially with some of the restrictions that were placed in the birthing places.

Things constantly change and that can be hard for aspiring moms, moms-to-be, and new moms. Not only do they have to navigate constant changes, at times they have to do it in isolation.

Birthing people are being asked to shoulder a lot mentally.

What are some maternal health-related solutions that you would like to see implemented in the healthcare industry?

 We have a real shortage of culturally competent maternal health providers. The waitlist can be very long and sometimes it can be very expensive (if your insurance doesn’t cover the therapist you like, etc).

I would like to see more platforms that address the recruitment and training of culturally competent mental health providers.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Largest Collection Of Gordon Parks Photos Acquired By Howard University

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Howard University and The Gordon Parks Foundation recently announced a historic acquisition of 244 photographs representing the arc of Gordon Parks’s career over five decades.

The breadth of the collection—which spans Parks’s earliest photographs in the 1940s through the 1990s—makes it one of the most comprehensive resources for the study of Parks’s life and work anywhere in the world.

The Gordon Parks Legacy collection, a combined gift and purchase, will be housed in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

The photographs serve as a rich repository for the development of exhibitions and multidisciplinary curricula that advances scholarship on Parks’s contributions as an artist and humanitarian.

Howard University’s acquisition is part of The Gordon Parks Foundation’s commitment to supporting initiatives that provide access to and deepen understanding of the work and vision of Parks for artists, scholars, students, and the public. Building on this partnership, the Foundation and Howard University are exploring future projects that draw on the collection to catalyze new research and joint programming.

“This landmark acquisition provides new dimension to studying the work and lasting impact of Gordon Parks through the context and resources of a university,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation. “Gordon embodied the many values that Howard University stands for, making it a fitting home for engaging with one of the great chroniclers of Black American life.”

“Howard University is proud to be the recipient of such an important collection of work by African American artist and photojournalist Gordon Parks,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard University. “Mr. Parks was a trailblazer whose documentation of the lived experiences of African Americans, especially during the civil rights period, inspired empathy, encouraged cultural and political criticism, and sparked activism among those who viewed his work. Having a collection of his timeless photographs in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center will allow Howard University faculty, students, and visiting scholars to draw on his work and build upon his legacy of truth telling and representation through the arts.”

“I am extremely excited about this historic acquisition by Howard University and this rich addition to Moorland-Spingarn’s collection,” said Ben Talton, Ph.D., Director of The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. “It fortifies Howard’s place as the premier institution preserving the legacy of the global Black experience. In addition to acquiring the nation’s largest Garden Parks collection, Howard University is gaining a partner in the Gordon Parks Foundation. This collection and this historic collaboration provide our students and faculty with direct access to Parks’ work and the resources of the Gordon Parks Foundation for research and teaching. As a photographer and filmmaker, Parks provided a unique narrative of the beauty and pain of the history of the United States during the second half of the 20th century.”

The collection traces Parks’s progression from early portraits of rising talents to becoming a leading photographer of Black celebrities through the subsequent decades.

Represented are Parks’s mid-career works Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun, New York, New York, 1959; Duke Ellington in Concert, New York, 1960; Louis Armstrong, Los Angeles, California, 1969; among other photographs of notable figures from the period.

The holdings also include photographs taken later in Parks’s career of subjects representing new generations of changemakers at the height of their emergence on the cultural scene, including portraits of the iconic fashion model Iman from the 1970s, and images taken in New York of Jazz musician Miles Davis in 1981, and filmmaker Spike Lee in 1990.

 

Ernie Barnes Painting From ‘Good Times’ Sells For $15.2 Million

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Ernie Barnes created the painting “The Sugar Shack” in the early 1970s. It gained international exposure when it was used on the Good Times television series and on a 1976 Marvin Gaye album.

On the 12th of May, the iconic painting was sold at auction in New York City for almost $15.27 million.

According to Christie’s auction house, the sale set an auction record for Barnes’ work by more than 27 times the artist’s previous record, and was 76 times the high estimate of $200,000. The 10-minute auction drew 22 bidders before Houston-based energy trader Bill Perkins.

“I would have paid a lot more,” Perkins told The New York Times following the auction. “For certain segments of America, it’s more famous than the Mona Lisa.”

Eric Barnes
Ernie Barnes

According to Ernie Barnes official website, he created the original version of “The Sugar Shack” after reflecting upon his childhood, during which he was not “able to go to a dance.”

Barnes said in a 2008 interview, “The Sugar Shack’ is a recall of a childhood experience. It was the first time my innocence met with the sins of dance. The painting transmits rhythm so the experience is re-created in the person viewing it.  To show that African-Americans utilize rhythm as a way of resolving physical tension.”

“The Sugar Shack” has been known to art critics for embodying the style of art composition known as “Black Romantic,” which, according to Natalie Hopkinson of The Washington Post, is the “visual-art equivalent of the Chitlin’ circuit.”

When Barnes first created “The Sugar Shack,” he included his hometown radio station WSRC (Durham, NC) on a banner. He incorrectly listed the frequency as 620. It was actually 1410. Barnes confused what he used to hear WSRC’s on-air personality Norfley Whitted saying “620 on your dial” when Whitted was at his former station WDNC in the early 1950s.

After Marvin Gaye asked him for permission to use the painting as an album cover, Barnes then augmented the painting by adding references that allude to Gaye’s album, including banners hanging from the ceiling to promote the album’s singles.

During the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” anniversary television special on March 25, 1983, tribute was paid to “The Sugar Shack” with a dance interpretation of the painting. It was also during this telecast that Michael Jackson introduced his famous “moonwalk” dance.

Barnes died of leukemia in 2009 at age 70.

Tony O. Lawson


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