How Black-owned businesses have been impacted by coronavirus

September 22, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has not affected communities equally – from job seekers across demographic groups to neighborhoods across the U.S., those who were already underserved and vulnerable are now experiencing the worst of this situation. 

Black-owned small businesses are no exception. 

These companies have been dramatically and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with 41 percent shuttered by the pandemic – compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses

Report after report paints the picture of how rough it is for Black-owned businesses in 2020: 

  • 55 percent of minority-owned businesses conducted layoffs or furloughs, or shut down, compared to 48 percent overall, according to McKinsey
  • “Black-owned businesses tend to have fewer employees than other small businesses and are also more likely to be in industries like restaurants or retail that lockdowns have hit especially hard.” (New York Times
  • “Black-owned businesses also appear to be benefiting less from federal stimulus programs. Only 12 percent of black and Hispanic business owners polled between April 30 and May 12 received the funding they had requested. About one quarter received some funding. By contrast, half of all small businesses reported receiving from a single part of the stimulus packages — the Paycheck Protection Program — according to a census survey.” (New York Times

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on businesses, and the spotlight on social justice increases, more and more companies are committing to diversity initiatives, community investments and making a positive difference in our culture.  

Here are 8 tips for supporting Black-owned small businesses right now: 

  1. Staffing firms and recruiters: seek out Black-owned or operated companies to place employees. 
  2. Partner with Black-owned or operated vendors to elevate small businesses across industries and help those who have been hit hard earn revenue. (And shop from Black-owned businesses where you can!) 
  3. Support local initiatives designed to provide relief for Black-owned and small businesses in your community.  
  4. Help ensure your professional associations are diverse, from including Black-owned small businesses to highlighting their current unique business challenges at meetings. 
  5. Share or claim this CareerBuilder offer for 6 months of free hiring tools for Black-owned small businesses. 
  6. Check if your company has a way to feature or promote Black-owned businesses to other companies or to job seekers.  
  7. Initiate partnerships, from community organizations aligned with your business mission to financially supporting campaigns
  8. Job seekers: when researching companies, check out how many Black-owned businesses are in your community and if they have open roles. 

And last, but certainly not least, talk about it!  

Part of supporting diverse groups of business owners, leaders and employees is identifying and addressing the issue at hand. Whether it’s supporting junior-level employees to grow into management positions, or improving your candidate sourcing to find more diverse applicants, you first have to take stock of opportunities to improve, discuss the issues on the table, then make a plan. CareerBuilder has been on our own internal journey of listening, learning and committing – and being transparent about our process


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