The MStreetX Newsletter
Friday, February 19, 2021
Keep Striving For Greatness
MStreetX's newsletter continues to bring you the top stories and breaking news that impacts business, and the economy, and this month some news celebrating Black History!
Jennifer Hudson and Mastercard Launch Platform Supporting Black Women-Owned Businesses
While there is no doubt Black women-owned businesses are vital to our economy, they are among the most impacted by the current pandemic. It is estimated that between February and April 2020, 41% of Black owned businesses have permanently closed, this outpaces all other owner groups. Jennifer Hudson alongside Mastercard announced the Strivers Initiative, a platform raising awareness of Black female business owners, a Venture Capital fund built by women of color, and a grant program along with collaborations from multiple other organizations, find out more here. source
In honor of Black History Month, We Must Not Forget Why We Have A Justice Department: To Protect Black Rights.
After the Civil War, the U.S. Government solidified equality by law by creating the Department of Justice on July 1st of 1870. This was largely done in order to handle the deluge of cases prosecuting those trying to opress the rights of Black Americans. The first two years was spent focusing on guaranteeing black voting rights and shedding light on the systematic violence of the Ku Klux Klan and bringing all responsible to justice. The newly appointed Attorney General at the time, empowered by a legal team strongly enforced the 14th and 15th amendment as well as legislation that granted rights to the over four million previously enslaved Black men and women.
Perseverance And Ingenuity
The seven month voyage has come to an end, with Perseverance, AKA Percy, and its drone Ingenuity landing on the surface of Mars, specifically in the Jezero Crater. This SUV sized rover will be the fifth NASA rover to land on Mars. Perseverance will spend the next several years scouring the Red Planet’s surface for any signs of ancient life (microbial/bacterial). While Ingenuity will be engaging in several flights in the martian atmosphere testing and measuring for future trips. This monumental project was made possible by NASA joining forces with Maxar Technologies, Northrop Gruman, and AeroVironment to name a few. The Rover will spend 1 martian year, or 687 earth days collecting samples that will ultimately help researchers plan for human missions.
Snowstorm Furniture Refuge
A furniture store opened itself up to be a refuge to many impacted by the snowstorm ravaging Texas. James F. McIngvale, who availed his store previously during natural disasters, opened his doors Tuesday and thousands have flocked to seek shelter in his 100,000 sqft. Showroom. Many have sought to warm up, or grab a meal, while as many as 500 people have stayed over night the last several nights. While millions of households are without power in these freezing temperatures, McIngvale has power due to the large generator on premise. Food, utilities and warmth are being provided to all those who seek it, which are many as the shelters are over capacity elsewhere. McIngvale, who is 70, and started the store in the 90’s with a $5000 investment said that “We will stay open for as long as people need us.”
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to Investigate Texas Power Outage.
An inquiry has been opened into the cause of the massive outage across Texas, leaving multiple people dead and close to three million households and businesses without power. FERC also led an investigation in 201 during the last major snow storm in Texas, and offered recommendations to prevent future replays. Many are demanding answers as to how this happened as less than a week before the storm the public was assured that the weatherization efforts, and system was in place to prevent any such failuers from occuring. Currently 40% of the state’s generators are offline. There have been a major backlash against the political figures with Ted Cruz vacationing in Mexico, and a Texas mayor, Tim Boyd, resigning after telling residents over facebook “The City and County [...] owes you NOTHING! [...]only the strong will survive.”
Walmart Raising Wages For 425,000 Workers.
Thursday, Doug McMillon, Walmart’s CEO announced to investors it would raise wages for approximately 1.5 million of its employees so that they would earn at least $15/hour. However, this does not raise the minimum wage at Walmart, which is still $11/hr. McMillon met with President Biden to discuss the administration's interest in raising the national minimum wage to $15/hr. The announcement explained that the raise would occur for those who had seniority, but a course is being set to target $15/hr minimum, for all workers, “but it should be paced in a way that is good for the U.S. economy.” Other rivals such as Target and Amazon began raising their minimum wage pay to $15 and hour over the last several years, and the newest administration is urging others to do the same. Source