Paving a path to wealth equity

To operationalize economic equity, Main ST is committed to building the capacity of those who are underrepresented and challenged in achieving success within their business ecosystems as well as preparing a new generation to become economic contributors for inclusive participation in today’s economy.
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Why we want to help

Small business is the life of a community.
Main ST was founded in 2017 because its founders were saddened by how many community businesses, especially Black businesses, were closing their doors due to inequitable economic opportunities and their inability to access resources. Their demise has stripped many communities of culturally relevant shopping, employment, and community pride.  More importantly, small businesses are crucial to eliminating the racial wealth gap that America is experiencing.  

ISSUE: Wealth is unequally distributed across the United States.  White families have a median wealth of $188,200, compared to $24,100 for Black families. The median Black household wealth was forecast to hit zero by 2053 in a 2017 report by Prosperity Now and Institute for Policy Studies.  Wealth building is more than a paycheck or money.  And as it relates to the ability to generate wealth through the benefits of owning a business, Black Americans have never had an equal opportunity.

ONE SOLUTION: For wealth to be an attainable goal for underrepresented (Black, women) businesses, access to wealth-building economic resources must be equitable, inclusive, and given fairly, without any prejudice or bias.  But these barriers and challenges that commonly affect minority businesses nationally are also issues in the Pittsburgh region. Pittsburgh Black businesses experience obstacles for achieving economic success at a greater percentage than their White counterparts. The factors of economic equity, inclusion, and justice were challenges for small Black businesses well before the pandemic.
A photograph by Pulsus Digital Media Company of  different Youth of Ethnic origins all reaching and holding a globe from the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center

Our Purpose

As stewards for equitable economic participation, Main ST aim is to build capacity for achieving economic self-empowerment as well as economic success.  Through We Are Open, Main ST increases the economic self-empowerment of small underrepresented (primarily Black) community-based businesses by offering free or low-cost products and services to improve their business competencies for economic success.  Tech Innovation works to increase the economic self-empowerment of the next generation through internships that improves their knowledge and competencies.

Economic equity, inclusiveness, and justice is a win for everyone.  By increasing small Black businesses' economic self-empowerment, Main ST is helping to improve the region’s social impact as it relates to wealth building for small businesses.

What we do works:

    o   We connect - Main ST is representative of the people we serve.  As a small black led organization, we can relate to those we serve, who are underrepresented and challenged with success within their business ecosystem.
     o   We understand - We have gone through or are undergoing the same challenges - building capacity (revenue, staff resources, facility / space) to achieve our goals and objectives.
     o   We care - We are also vested in preparing a new generation for participation in the economy either as business owners or leaders.
     o   We partner - we collaborate with other organizations to increase equitable economic participation.

            §  Mon Metro Chamber of Commerce, providing benefit services for their qualifying membership
            §  Mon Metro Business Equity Initiative, building capacity competencies for their clients
            §  JADA House International, educating a new generation

Our Participants & What We do for Them

Tech Innovation for
Youth Economic Empowerment

Main Street Logo

Working to increase the economic self empowerment of the next generation

Using multimedia technology business as an industry platform, Main ST prepares a new generation for economic success through internships and programming that provides meaningful work experience, professional development, and attainment of valuable skills.

Tech Innovation serves as a catalyst for minority children and youth, empowering them to break through equity barriers that have historically challenged those traditionally underrepresented (Black, women) with economic well-being.  The Tech Innovation goal is to build a foundation that improves their capacity for achieving economic mobility.

Working in collaboration with other youth serving organizations and schools, Tech Innovation programming includes
    ·Tech Innovation Economic Empowerment Internships
    ·Tech Innovation Evolution of Empowerment Girls Internships
    ·Tech Innovation Academies (Drone, Photography, Videography, Stop Motion Animation)

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Black working Artists need support to equitably market and sell their art.  A platform that allows them the freedom to showcase their cultural expression based on their experiences and the experiences of their communities, while allowing them to make money.  Although progress has been made to be more supportive of black artists, data shows there still remains a question of equity and inclusivity.

The art ecosystem still remains predominately a white space - most American Artist who successfully make a living from selling their art are white, while the curators, museums, galleries and other venues that set the standard for art are mainly white owned, operated and staffed (Among 18 major U.S. museums, 85% of artists featured are while, while 87% are men, according to 2019 Study by Williams College).  And because of the lack of black representation within this system, when it does come to exhibiting black art, these platforms usually base their selection of which black artists to display on their comfort and viewpoint.

Beyond building inclusivity within these structures, we need to transform the structural landscape to combat this historical inequity.  One way is to increase black operated platforms that identify with black artists experiences and can provide them cultural support. Working with other black art organizations, PD Arts Collective will provide multimedia, technology and marketing / branding support that provides equitable economic opportunities for black artist to promote, showcase and sell their art.

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drone shot by Pulsus Digital Client

FAQs

Where are you located?

Our office is located at 4817 Chatsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207
Our Programs and Services take place in a variety of locations. Check our website for schedules and locations.

How do we contact you for more information?

You can contact the Main ST Executive Director, Lori Rue, at lrue@deloje.com, for more information.

What programming and services do we provide? What are some the programs?

At this time, we provide the following programs and services
We Are Open
Tech Innovation

How can I apply for Main ST services?

Please check our website for updates

Does my child qualify?

We are in the process of developing our application for community-based activities.

Do we provide year roundproigramming?

Yes. Check our website for our schedule

Have more questions?

Contact Us