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Black in Business: How Black Businesses Are Fairing After COVID-19

A casualty of nationwide shutdowns, little resources, and systemic racism, Black businesses have struggled greatly during the coronavirus pandemic and the battle for job security is far from over.

What was originally thought to be a relatively short run-in with an unknown virus, quickly became a year-long disease that plagued a number of Black-owned businesses throughout the United States and beyond. With many Americans receiving vaccines and businesses opening their doors again, many are left wondering how the nation’s minority-owned operations are handling the world’s new normal. 

Black businesses, much like the minority men and women who run them, are often disportionately affected by worldly occurrences and the 2020 pandemic was no different. According to a brief by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Black businesses experienced the largest decline in activity by 41% – twice as much as their White counterparts. The Washington Post reported a similar change in the amount of Black-owned business owners over the last year. 

While the pandemic was the catalyst of great strife for multiple businesses, by no means were Black business owners experiencing the calm before the storm that is COVID-29. Unfortunately, for many entrepreneurs the systemic issues they are facing Black started long before the newest decade. 

A lack of support, funds, and demand are common obstacles for many start-up and well-established businesses serving minority communities. Being that these issues can result in a faulty foundation for many businesses, the pandemic only worsened matters and caused destruction beyond repair.

Of the few businesses that made it to the other side of COVID-19, many credit their staying above water loyal customers, heightened prices, and innovative practices that were born in the midst of the chaos. 

The particular undertaking of digging yourself out of a pandemic-sized hole looming over many minority-owned business owners isn’t lost on patrons. In the past year, the outpouring of support from those hoping to help Black-owned businesses has increased. Outlets like Forbes and Bloomberg have detailed countless ways business owners and their customers can work to ensure businesses stay open and succeed in spite of COVID-19. 

With the coronavirus pandemic still going on, the verdict isn’t in on the final state of Black and minority-owned businesses. Fortunately, it doesn’t hurt to assume that with assistance from customers, fellow entrepreneurs, and minority community leaders these businesses will have to struggle much longer. The other side is on the horizon – we just have to make it through the night. 

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