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40% of Black-Owned Businesses Not Expected To Survive Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has caused catastrophic damage to small businesses across the nation. A recent study published earlier this year revealed that more than 100,000 small businesses in the United States have permanently shut their doors. That was back in March.
Another report by Main Street America predicts that an estimated 7.5 million small businesses will shut down for good as a result of the global health crisis.
And to insult to injury, early evidence shows that Black-owned businesses will be hit the hardest.
More than 40 percent of Black business owners reported they weren’t working in April when businesses were at their economic worst of the pandemic. Only 17 percent of white small business owners said the same, according to data by Robert Fairlie of the University of California Santa Cruz.
As Travel Noire previously reported, minority-owned businesses have a harder time getting approved for small business loans than their white counterparts which impose barriers to expand and move online, for example.
Black-owned businesses are also benefitting less from the federal stimulus program. Only 12 percent of Black and Hispanic business owners received funding they requested, as reported in The New York Times.
“Black businesses often don’t have a traditional banking partner,” said Ken Harris, president of the National Business League, an organization founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900.
“Without such a partner, many had trouble applying for assistance.”
As a result, Black-owned businesses have gone to their communities to ask for help through crowd funding and social media campaigns.
Most recently, the Southwest Soda Pop Shop in Washington, D.C. was saved from going under and closing its doors for good after asking the community for donations to help them keep their doors open during the pandemic.
The four sisters who opened this shop said they could not keep their doors open without support from the community.
“We’ve gone from having 35 maybe 36 customers on a weekday to now seeing 350,” Brittany Jones, co-owner of Southwest Soda Pop Shop said in an interview.
Early on during the pandemic, Marc Lamont Hill announced that he started a GoFundMe to continue supporting staff at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books in Philadelphia after temporarily closing the shop due to the coronavirus.
But there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Black-owned businesses.
In light of the social unrest as a result of police brutality against people of color, there has been a global movement to support Black-owned businesses.
My Black Receipt is pushing a movement to motivate consumers to spend $$5 million at Black-owned businesses by July 6 and to turn it into more than a one-time purchase.
Meanwhile, Yelp has added an attribute for people looking to support Black-owned businesses, and Uber Eats has launched an in-app promotion for Black-owned independent restaurants in select cities in the United States and Canada.
“To make it as easy as possible for Uber Eats users to support their favorite Black-owned businesses on the app, customers will receive a $0 Delivery Fee,” a statement on its website reads.