Struggling Greensboro residents making long-term financial changes to narrow the wealth gap
Tavis Smiley and Nationwide Insurance to provide financial literacy workshop in Greensboro
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2010
Greensboro, NC —Greensboro residents are making changes in how they manage their finances and many are looking for a hands-on approach toward improving their financial situation. The Nationwide Insurance On Your Side® Tour with Tavis Smiley will help to empower Greensboro residents to better manage their finances.
Nationwide Insurance is partnering with author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley to bring its free financial empowerment workshop to Greensboro on October 30 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. Doors open at 9 a.m.; the event begins at 10 a.m.
The need for Greensboro residents to address financial literacy and financial planning – including African-American households – is highlighted in a new financial survey commissioned by The Smiley Group and Nationwide Insurance that shows the recession has impacted how Americans are preparing themselves for the future.
According to the financial survey, Greensboro residents have made positive changes in the past year as a result of the economy, including created a household budget (40 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of the city’s general population), focused on paying off credit cards (48 percent African Americans and 42 percent general population), and used cheaper transportation (24 percent African Americans and 19 percent general population).
Wealth Gap in Greensboro
Nearly half of African Americans in Greensboro (44 percent) say they have a household income less than $35,000 a year before taxes, compared to 18 percent of the city’s general population. Twenty percent of African Americans in Greensboro surveyed say they are unemployed, compared to 11 percent of the general population.
The majority of African-American (87 percent) and general-population (94 percent) respondents in Greensboro remain at least somewhat worried about the economy. Twice as many respondents believe their financial condition has worsened in the past year than those who feel it has improved. Many don’t believe it will improve over the next 12 months (38 percent African Americans and 60 percent general population).
“The results of the survey underscore that Americans in Greensboro – black and white – are struggling to emerge from this downturn on their feet,” said Tavis Smiley. “As the world continues to recover from the recession, Black America has the highest unemployment rates, was heavily impacted by the housing crisis and was hit hard by the credit crisis. These sessions are as timely today as they were when we started the tour two years ago.”
Work To Be Done
When it comes to financial goals, African Americans say paying monthly expenses (31 percent to 22 percent) and paying rent/mortgage (34 percent to 17 percent) are significantly more important to them than the overall general population responded. About 90 percent of all Greensboro residents who plan to build up an emergency savings fund over the next 12 months and say they will continue to do so for the long term.
The free financial workshop will feature a general session with Smiley as the keynote speaker and two informational seminars with breakout sessions about financial literacy basics, employment opportunities and more.
“As America continues to see the long-term impact of the Great Recession, our safety nets are slowly diminishing and consumers are becoming more aware that fiscal accountability and responsibility is up to them,” said Lee Morton, Nationwide’s regional vice president for North Carolina. “Consumers are seeking financial information and tools to help them plan for today and prepare for tomorrow. We view our On Your Side Tour with Tavis Smiley as a way to help people help themselves and make a difference in communities like Greensboro.”
About the Financial Survey
The online financial survey was conducted in August 2010 by the Blackstone Group. A web panel was used to collect data. A total of 403 residents of Greensboro were split into two sample groups: general population, ages 18+ (200 people) and African American, ages 18+ (203 people). Significance testing was done at the 90 percent confidence level. Margin of error is +5.8 percent. No incentives were provided to survey respondents.
About Tavis Smiley and The Smiley Group
From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, as a broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be TIME magazine honored Smiley in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The Smiley Group, Inc. is a communications corporation established in support of human rights and related empowerment issues. TSG serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposiums and the Internet. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.