Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Are Focusing on Black Businesses

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Are Focusing on Black Businesses

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris are traveling the country touting their Build Back Better plan.

Biden will hold a Black Economic Summit Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The former Vice President will meet with small business owners, workers, and others struggling through the coronavirus pandemic about their experiences and what the first steps should be coming out of the pandemic.

Seventy-four percent of small businesses in the state have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Twelve percent have closed for good and another 11% have cut their staff. In a statement released Friday, Biden criticized President Trump for his record in the state.

“From calling our veterans and fallen soldiers ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’ to purposefully downplaying coronavirus and failing to keep North Carolina’s military families, schools, and communities safe, President Trump has shown North Carolinians that he is unfit to be Commander in Chief,” Biden said.

“Instead of laying out a clear plan to tackle the pandemic and safely reopen our schools and small businesses, he is backing a lawsuit that would rip health care protections away from 4.1 million North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions, even as more than 119,000 North Carolinians have already lost their health coverage under his watch.”

Meanwhile, Harris spent Tuesday in Michigan visiting both Detroit and Flint to meet with small Black business owners who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

In Flint, Harris made three unannounced stops at three Black-owned businesses in the city, and in Detroit, Harris held a  “Shop Talk” event with Black business leaders at a Black-owned barbershop. The event featured Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and among the topics discussed was the fight for racial justice and equality as well as the power of Black men voting in this election.

“Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are hitting key battleground states this week — reaching voters where they are as they reinforce their commitment to Build Back Better, by supporting and uplifting communities across this country. Biden and Harris recognize that Black-owned businesses operate as staples of their respective communities, and that the current administration is not prioritizing the success of Black entrepreneurs,” said Kamau Marshall, the campaign’s director of strategic communications. “A Biden-Harris administration would reverse that narrative by doing the work to ensure that Black business owners in this country are provided the same opportunities for economic advancement and wealth accumulation as other groups, so they can not only recover from the current economic crisis, but come back stronger than before.”

The Biden campaign also released two new advertisements that will air digitally in key swing states. The ads are testimonials featuring Black business owners.

The first ad featured Celeste Beatty, the owner of a craft brewery business, who explains her struggle applying for Paycheck Protection Program funding in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I applied for the loans and I just didn’t get it,” Beatty says in the ad. “I saw some really huge companies that were customers of mine get millions of dollars, meanwhile, I’m just doing what I can to survive.”

The second ad features Anthony Jefferson, a small business owner in Pittsburgh, PA whose business was forced to let go of eight employees and had to shut down for three months due to quarantine restrictions.

“Trump does not see me,” Jefferson says. “I don’t understand how he can look himself in the eye.”