Anthony Braxton, SVP of United Bank of Philadelphia, Tells Black Businesses How to Grow

If you want to secure a loan to start a business or to procure additional capital to expand your operations, you might want to shop your business ideals with black-owned banks like the United Bank of Philadelphia, advises Anthony “Tony” Braxton.


Why are African American financial institutions a better option for aspiring proprietors and established entrepreneurs looking to expand operations or create chain businesses?

We recognize that we are unique. We understand the details of our constituency in our community a little bit better than the larger national bank who may not necessarily have much vested interest in the community. If the national headquarters is in San Francisco or Charlotte [N.C.] or Minneapolis, they are not going to care about what’s happening in south Philadelphia. What happens with those banks that are not headquartered here, they don’t have a vested interest to sustain those communities here.

What are some of the common mistakes we continue to make even in the new millennium and with the information superhighway at our disposal:

  1. Preparation or lack of it. I say to groups all the time, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And unfortunately for many small businesses, that’s what happens.
  2. We go off emotion and people tell you “oh, you are good at hair or carpentry.” And we go out to lay shingles and not realize that the skill that you have is only one component. There is the business of running the business and sustaining the business.

What are some of the things that black entrepreneurs can do to improve their prospects of securing a business loan, and staying in business?

Financial literacy. It starts within family structure. If the values aren’t instilled from day one, it’s very difficult to play catch up because, by then, they are already being poisoned with negative images and you have that perpetual negative mind-set.

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