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Black and minority-owned businesses are denied Covid-19 relief funds

Many Black and Latino business owners say they are on the verge of losing their businesses because they are out of work since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, that may not be the only reason.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Global Strategy Group for two equal-rights organizations, namely Color of Change and UnidosUS, these two minority groups in the US have also been side-lined and are barely benefiting from the Paycheck Protection Program and other government aid efforts.

Marcus Jones, president of Miss Essie’s BBQ, a Murray-based catering company that produces smoked meats and barbecue sauces, cooks in the company’s kitchen in Murray. Jones said his business has been in a financial bind since the coronavirus outbreak forced the shutdown of thousands of local establishments just over a month ago. Image credit Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that is intended to provide some form of financial relief to American small business owners who are finding it hard to function amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yet, American Black and Latino small business owners are on the losing end of the scale, according to the survey.

Even if US governmental aids amount were estimated to be $650 billion paychecks for this initiative, however, only 12 percent of business owners from these minority groups were fully supported or had what they requested.

About 26 per cent of the respondents said they only got a fraction of their initial request with almost half of the business owners ready to shut their businesses permanently.

Comparing this survey to the one run by the American Census Bureau of small businesses from April 26 to May 2, three-quarters of the respondents said they made a loan request and 38 percent of them received it.

Color of Change president Rashad Robinson has raised concerns about the future of Black and Latino small businesses within the country. He declared to the media that, “If we don’t get policies to protect these communities, we will lose a generation of black and brown businesses, which will have deep impacts on our entire country’s economy.”

Raquel McGee's group is an example of non-profit organisation that has shifted its focus to serving the Chicago community's COVID-19 needs. Image credit NBC

Miserably, not only American business owners are being affected by the lack of financial aid from the government. This lack of assistance trickles down to their employees too, and they have had to lay off some workers although the loans some of them requested were under $50,000.

Worldwide Blacks, Latinos, and other minority groups have been disproportionately affected by Coronavirus, from testing to getting medical assistance, and now to get aid from governed aid programs as well.

The GSG survey’s results have pushed Color of Change and other equal-rights advocacy groups to speak up for those businesses, who have been hard hit by the virus for them to get a fair chance of accessing the PPP funding in its next phase.


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