Betta Have My Money! How Silicon Valley Bank’s Fallout Affects Black-Owned Startups

Betta Have My Money! How Silicon Valley Bank’s Fallout Affects Black-Owned Startups

The shakeup at Silicon Valley Bank has put small business owners at a standstill, especially Black-owned businesses.

Over the weekend, news hit that the financial institution crumbled suddenly, leaving customers scrambling for answers. The bank announced that customers will have access to all their deposits soon and have set up a new facility to give banks access to emergency funds. However,  some business owners are looking for help.

Take Tiffany Dufu, for instance, CEO and founder of The Cru, a startup helping women achieve their personal and professional goals. When the startup founder found out about what happened at the bank, her world shattered. She took to LinkedIn and in an emotional confesssion in an airport bathroom, discussed how the bank’s failures are affecting customers.

“My company, Cru, like many out there, banked with SVB, and needless to say the last 72 hours has been intense,” Dufu said. “I think I’m in the bathroom crying because it was already intense for me.”

Her heartbreaking testimony is one of several realities small business owners are facing during these trying times.

Reports say SVB was a vulnerable mainstay for the startup economy, a main product of the decades-long era of cheap money, but that’s not an excuse to leave their customers without answers when they are already struggling to survive.

“It was already intense trying to recruit beautiful, talented people to come and work for you when you don’t quite have the salary to compete with other companies,” Dufu says in the video “How do I keep myself sustained?”

Some Black-owned business owners don’t seem to be worried, thanking the government for “stepping up” in this disaster.

But for startups like Cru, the work to repair is just getting started. “If you know a founder who has been impacted by this debacle, please reach out to them,” Dufu pleads. “Let them know you care and that you’re there for them. And please, please invest.”

Reuters contributed to this report.