Even amid a nationwide reckoning about racism, minority-owned businesses are experiencing disproportionate impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
This is especially true for Black-owned businesses, which had unequal access to recovery funding and are more likely to shut their doors than other businesses. Since early February, 41% of Black-owned businesses have permanently closed, compared with 17% of white-owned businesses, according to research from UC Santa Cruz.
“It’s just an exacerbation of what we’ve already been seeing and what’s already been in place. It’s just highlighted right now,” Shomari Carter, executive director of Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal, said at a virtual conference Wednesday that focused on the problem. “It’s an issue of access. We saw this with the Paycheck Protection Program. We had no one to call. There was no way to process your application.”