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The Buck Stops Here? By Mark Lampkin

The old saying, allegedly coined first by U. S. President Harry S. Truman, The Buck Stops Here, is a reference to his being the person who was ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the United States Government…. Unlike our current inhabitant of the White House, he was not seeking to blame others or to “pass the buck.”

I believe that it is wise for each of us as current or aspiring business owners to understand the importance of knowing how our money is being spent, and with whom. Too often we can get so busy in “doing the business” that we neglect to maintain responsible oversight of knowing how, and where, our cash flow is flowing.

We must resist the urge to spend on non-essential, and non-expense able items, in an attempt to impress others, before reinvesting those dollars back into our businesses. That Jaguar you want to purchase to drive around town may have to wait a few years. Better to have a solid cash flow and credit score than a fancy, money-pit car and bad debt.

Conversely, we as African-American consumers have a purchasing power that now equates to $1.2 Trillion Dollars as determined by a Forbes poll in 2018.

How and where we spend those dollars can either support or decimate a locally owned Black business or one that offers products and/or service online.

We must be more diligent about supporting those businesses that sow back into our communities. Neither Kroger nor Wal-Mart will be sponsoring local sports, academic or senior-services organizations. A local business that lives and works in that community will!

Hiring your children is also a smart way to teach them the correlation between work and reward, and is also legal in the eyes of the IRS. So, instead of “giving” an allowance, make them employees…it’s a win-win for everyone.

Your local Chamber of Commerce and SCORE ( are two resources that can provide assistance for new and existing businesses. Take advantage of their knowledge and resources.

Lastly, keep in mind that your business is a reflection of your values and commitment to serve others. The longer and more successful you are in staying afloat, even during the lean years, the better your chances are of creating a legacy for your family. That may require making difficult decisions, but may I remind you, as a mentor and a friend, that

The Buck Stops Here!”