The NAACP CRISIS magazine gave the City of Pensacola a “C” grade in the NAACP Florida 2015 Economic Development Report Card released in January. Adora Obi Nweze, President of NAACP Florida State Conference and Torey Alston, State Economic Development Chair, released the statewide Economic Development Report Card after examining the records of leading public and private organizations over a four months period. The State Conference examined government records on employment along with advertising and spending with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. This first statewide economic development report card assessed the following cities: Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lake City, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. The grading scale was as follows: A = Excellent (37% and higher), B= Above Average (31% to 36%), C= Average (25% to 30%). D=Below Average (24% to 29%), F= Failing (23% and below), and an asterisk before F as shown: *F=No Response. The report used 2010 census data and organizational records. to grade public bodies on percentages of minority inclusion in the areas of small and minority business spending, employment diversity, and minority advertising and marketing. Pensacola was one of two cities graded to receive a “C” in the area of small and minority business spending. A “C” grade may not sound good to those familiar with the usual education report card; however, NAACP State Economic Development Chair Torey Alston said the city should be praised. “Although they received a C on the grading scale, they absolutely should be commended. That was more than any other city in our study.” Alston said. Pensacola’s Chief of Operations, Tamara Fountain, provided the results which showed some of the reasoning behind the “C” grade: Under the Small and Minority Business Category the City listed $582,801 with African-American businesses in 2010, $774,014 with women-owned companies, $40,000 with Asian-American firms, and $870 with Hispanic-owned companies.
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