Many businesses have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But new research shows that the health crisis has disproportionately impacted Black-owned small businesses.
Over 40 percent of Black business owners weren’t working in April, during the time when businesses were facing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic backlash, The New York Times reports. In comparison, only 17 percent of white small business owners weren’t working that month, according to new evidence collected by Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
A number of small businesses are feeling te brunt of the pandemic because they don’t have access to loans and can’t effortlessly take their businesses online. Black-owned businesses often have fewer employees than other small businesses and often are centered in industries like restaurants or retail, which depend on an in-person clientele base. Those services have been hit the hardest, Ken Harris, president of the National Business League, told NYT.
“Most lack the capacity, scale, and technical assistance needed to survive a pandemic,” he said.
Additionally, Black-owned businesses aren’t receiving the necessary funding from federal stimulus programs. Data shows that only 12 percent of Black and Latinx business owners polled between April 30 and May 12 benefitted from funding that they applied for, with around one quarter receiving some money.
“Black businesses often don’t have a traditional banking partner,” Harris said. Many had difficulties applying for relief without a bank, as well.
In addition to Black small business owners struggling with keeping their doors open, among Americans, Black people are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus.