The Greater Washington Business Center, which provided black businessman Robert Alexandar with guidance and marketing research as he began seeking a loan for his fast-food business, is a free tool for the area's small businessmen, according to William C. Jameson, president of the agency.
Since the agency was established in 1974 as part of a recoganization plan by the Commerce Department Office of Minority Enterprise, it has been responsible for more than $12 million in financing for minority firms, which will generate nearly $200 million in revenue, Jameson said.
The organization, which consolidated six rival business development froups in the area, is a "one-stop center" for small businessmen - both minority and nonminority - seeking help in starting businesses, according to Jameson
Jameson said the organization offers marketing research at no cost as well as providing accountants and other business specialists when the need is there. The organization also acts as a referral service to businesses seeking government and private contracts.
"We are helping add new minority businesses to the area and these businesses will mean the creation of more minority jobs," added Marvin Doxie, another GWBC spokesman.
Jameson said his organization is responsible for a number of local businesses, including Joe McLaughlin Oldsmobile in Prince George's County.
In order to receive a loan from a lending institution for a fast-food franchise, such as the Hardee's outlet Alexander recently opened, there is a checkling to Jameson.
The checklist includes cash flow charts, cost projections, a resume, blue prints, marketing data, a franchise agreement, a current financial statement and other data reflecting the development of the project.
Jameson said a number of franchises, such as McDonalds, have begun limiting the number of people who can own a franchise. he said in some cases, companies are onlu permiting current franchise owners to bid for new sites.
In other areas, however, Jameson says business is booming for minorities. he said 1970 census data that indicates blacks only represent 3 percent of the business market in Washington and are responsible for less than $200 million in revenues, are "way off."
"We have seen a great deal of growth. We expect that those numbers will be dramatically changed," said Jameson.
As for Washington, Jameson said the new interest in redeveloping the District will mean more opportunities for minorites. "These upper middle-class people who are moving into the city are going to need services. They have begun to realize there is no where to park, so they will need supportive services, such as grocery stores and dry cleaning outlets, within walking distance from where they live."
Jameson said his organization is designed to help large and small businesses.