By Tony McCray
Triumph Gulf Coast is about to receive $300,000,000 in BP Oil Spill Economic Settlement funds for competitive distribution to the eight counties from Escambia to Wakulla that suffered the most from the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Coast Voice had a distinct opportunity to interview two investment intermediary companies that are showing a serious professional interest in assisting the Gulf Coast Northwest Florida business, non-profit, and government stakeholders to strengthen the ability of regional community partners to generate economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals, families and communities of color.
The companies located in the Atlanta region are ‘Capital 4ur Business’ with Rev. Anthony Williams as its Managing Partner and ‘Equinox Capital Partners’ with Dr. Terrence Drakes as its Managing Partner. They discussed with the Voice Newspaper their interest of working with Gulf Coast Northwest Florida Stakeholders. They conducting in-depth case studies of successful public-private financing techniques, innovative social and economic development institutions, and uniquely funded civic engagement initiatives that once implemented address the symptoms of poverty that will provide greater economic justice and prosperity.
With over one million residents of the Gulf Coast from Texas to South Florida living in disadvantaged, poor urban and rural communities the total $20.8 Billion economic settlement does not appear to be a priority in the predominantly Latino and African American communities. Though the settlement is a fifteen-year payout process, Rev. Williams and Dr. Drakes thought the advocacy of Northwest Florida stakeholders to begin formalizing their response to the Triumph Gulf Coast funding attracted their professional interest.
Dr. Drakes spoke eloquently about his interest of the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast opportunity. “I see this as a chance to design social and economic models that reinforce the investments we make in the region”! Dr. Drakes is originally from South America and includes international business deals as a part of his firm’s offering of services. Rev. Anthony Williams of Capital 4ur Business is the reason for the business connection between the Gulf Coast and the two investment companies. In attendance at the Florida Conference of Primitive Baptist Churches, hosted by Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church, Rev. Williams made contact with members of the Gulf Coast Voice Newspaper staff and was informed about the Triumph Gulf Coast $300,000,000 windfall during July of 2017.
Rev. Williams shared with the Voice, “Dr. Drakes and I are already making plans to strengthen our roles and relationships with the Gulf Coast Region so that we can experience the growth associated with the leverage anticipated from our ability to bring private sector capital to match the BP Funds.” The brochure of the two companies states the following: “The Equinox Capital Partners and Capital 4ur Business Alliance represents a strategic collaboration that synergizes elements and experiences from both the financial and the church communities. Keep your eyes on the Gulf Coast Voice for more information regarding this African-American led investment team leveraging private sector funding with the BP Oil Spill Economic Settlement in Northwest Florida.