Ariel’s Rogers Says Firms Must Work on Equality in Business Ties
(Bloomberg) -- Ariel Investments Co-Chief Executive Officer John Rogers said companies can work toward racial equality by becoming reliable customers of Black-owned businesses.
“Access to capital is important, but I actually think equally important is access to customers,” Rogers said Thursday at the Bloomberg Equality Summit.
He cited McDonald’s Corp., where he’s been a board member since 2003, to illustrate how major companies can promote Black-owned enterprises. In 2019, the fast-food giant spent almost $1 billion with Black suppliers, Rogers wrote last year in an op-ed for Fortune.
By becoming a customer of those businesses, “ultimately you’re able to build big businesses that employ hundreds of people and create a real wealth in specific communities,” he said Thursday.
A group of Black former McDonald’s franchisees recently brought a class-action lawsuit against the company, saying it engaged in discriminatory practices. The company denied the allegations.
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