Black-owned businesses hit hardest during coronavirus shutdowns

Posted at 11:05 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 00:05:56-04

A new report shows Black-owned businesses could face a greater risk of shutting down.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York between February and April, 41% of Black-owned businesses across the country shut down.

Compared to a study during that same time by the University of California, that's more than Latino (32%), Asian (26%) and white-owned (17%) businesses.

They site "weaker financial conditions, weaker bank relationships, and preexisting funding gaps prior to the pandemic."

Sascee's Southern Eatery has been feeling the pressure since the beginning of the pandemic.

"We haven't been able to get any of those loans either. They had quite a few mountains to climb just to be able to get it. By the time that we got all our T's crossed and all our I's dotted, the funds were gone," said John Neal, the owner of Sascee's Southern Eatery.

"Historically, businesses of color and African American businesses have been absolutely disadvantaged," said Rachel Pate, the Vice President of Economic Development at the Central Texas African Chamber of Commerce.

Pate says 92% of downtown businesses in Waco have received COVID-19-aid, and the chamber is working to help the remaining 8%

The chamber is working on raising funds for what's being called the Cen-Tex Minority Equity Fund, which they hope will provide over $100,000 in aid to local businesses in need.

"It will not be a giveaway program. It will be something that provides you with advocacy access and training and then an opportunity to put back in that fund for the next person that may need those resources," said Pate

Until that's ready, the chamber is available to help elevate all businesses through financial resources and counseling either directly or through the connections they have in the community.

The goal is to have the equity fund ready for launch by October.

In the meantime they'll be fundraising money, so whether you want to be a donor or an applicant, you can find the info on the chamber's website.