Black-Owned Businesses Cannot Be Left Behind In Coronavirus Economic Relief

The federal government is trying to keep small businesses alive with the passing of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, but black-owned businesses cannot be left behind.

According to the Brookings Institute, black-owned businesses are highly involved in the outbreak. Black-owned firms with paid employees generate over $103 billion in revenue annually. The largest share (about $17 billion) is earned in the healthcare and social assistance sector.

Almost 30% of all black-owned businesses are independent practices of physicians, or continuing care/assisted living and youth services. Another 10% are in the administrative and support services, such as call centers, temp agencies, collection bureaus, as well as recycling and waste management facilities.

These positions put black-owned businesses in the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Contexts, a social research magazine, the median white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the median black family, meaning black-owned businesses generally have less cushion to overcome economic turmoil. Brookings also found almost two-thirds of white-owned businesses that existed in 2002 were still in business in 2011, compared to just under half of black-owned firms.

Even worse is when the economy reopens and money is moving again, potential black owners rarely get money to invest in new businesses. According to Brookings, before the outbreak, only 1% of black business owners obtained loans in their founding year, compared to 7% of white business owners.

Minority-owned businesses, in general, earn significantly higher ratings on Yelp than white-owned firms according to research by Brookings and Gallup.

African Americans and minorities are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. They’re more likely to have to travel to work and more likely to work around strangers putting themselves at risk. Even death rates due to coronavirus are higher in African Americans than any other race.

Many national companies are currently running coronavirus-related advertisements pushing unity in a time of crisis but what about when the virus is no longer a threat?