Atlanta Restaurant Partners, owned by former Mayor Maynard Jackson’s widow, Valerie; his daughter, Brooke Jackson Edmond; and Daniel Halpern, all community stalwarts, have been under fire this year regarding their certification as a disadvantaged minority business.
The Federal Aviation Administration rules say if the owner is a woman or minority and your business makes, on average, less than $56 million a year, and your personal net worth is less than $1.3 million, then you can qualify as a disadvantaged business.
The state Department of Transportation certified Atlanta Restaurant Partners as disadvantaged. But, following a complaint, the FAA investigated and deemed they weren’t.
The FAA reasoned Halpern’s Native American status didn’t qualify him as a minority and he is the one that actually operates the company because Jackson and Edmond didn’t have badges, airport credentials.
The pair tells Atlanta’s FOX 5 News:
“It was an inaccurate accusation that I never visited the stores. I don’t need a badge to visit the stores. If I’m traveling, I go by the store,” Jackson says.
“We only own two restaurants at the airport, we own 18 restaurants total. We’re very busy,” says Edmond.
A hearing was held on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 before the DOT and after reviewing evidence, the determination was made that they do qualify.