Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Business Owners Hardest, But We Are Resilient

“More than 40 percent of black business owners reported they weren’t working in April, when businesses were feeling the worst of the pandemic’s economic consequences. Only 17 percent of white small business owners said the same, according to an analysis of government data by Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Many small businesses are struggling during the pandemic because they lack easy access to loans and cannot easily move their businesses online. “Most lack the capacity, scale and technical assistance needed to survive a pandemic,” said Ken Harris, president of the National Business League,

Additionally, only a small number of Black-owned businesses have received funding from the CARES Act, Payroll Protection Program or the EIDL Loans as provided through the Small Business Administration. According to the New York Times, “Only 12 percent of Black and Hispanic business owners polled between April 30 and May 12 received the funding they had requested. About one quarter received some funding. By contrast, half of all small businesses reported receiving from a single part of the stimulus packages — the Paycheck Protection Program — according to a census survey.”

The disproportionate struggles facing black small business owners come as their communities are already bearing the brunt of public health crises: Black people are more than twice as likely as other Americans to die of the coronavirus and much more likely to be victims of police violence.

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