George Floyd’s death last year and subsequent mass protests have put attention on inequality between whites and blacks of all kinds, including challenge for black-owned businesses.
Since that time, data shows consumers increasingly put their money in their mouths, by spending more at black-owned businesses and restaurants.
The question is, how much can that help after these businesses have been particularly hit by the pandemic?
On Tuesday, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty second degree of unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
In response to the ruling, some observers – included President Joe Biden – hopefully this moment will be a turning point towards a more just future.
Some black business leaders hope that part of this change is a deeper commitment from customers and corporations to remember Black-owned businesses as they shop. or search for a new service provider.
“There is certainly a clearer and stronger sense of justice,” said Larry Ivory, president and chief executive officer of the Black Chamber of Commerce in Illinois and president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. society.
Floyd’s death “made people a lot more sensitive,” and he says that at least some wave of business for some black-owned companies and businesses since then could have been by people. socially conscious consumption.
People are gathering around small businesses, Ivory says. But – like so much in the pandemic – the recovery was uneven in businesses that are slowly returning. In Ivory’s home state, 30% of black-owned businesses shut down. And other problems persisted, like access to capital, he said.
But Ivory still hopes. “If there is time to improve, now is the time,” he said.
Some encouraging numbers. Example: Yelp
the data shows that users know more and more who the owner of the business they frequent.
From February 2020 to February 2021, the percentage of searching black-owned businesses increased 3.085%, according to information Released this month from a website that helps consumers find and rate local businesses. Search rates rose 4.077% for Latin American-owned businesses, 264% for women-owned businesses and 130% for American-owned businesses.
Yelp users are also increasingly aware of who they are evaluating. Mention of Black business owners in reviews increased 195% between February 2020 and February 2021. This rate is up 76% for female owners and 58% for owners. owns Latin people.
Eat okra, an app that connects users with black-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafes, food trucks, bars and wineries, has increased 4,000 percent of app downloads since its time. Floyd’s point died on May 25, 2020, until Chauvin was found guilty. At that time, the app had linked more than 300,000 diners to restaurants owned by Black.
Anthony Edwards Jr., Co-Founder and CEO of EatOkra said: “Consumers have said loud and clear that the support of black-owned businesses and restaurants is a top priority. .
and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. A Groupon spokesperson noted that user searches for “Black owned” grew by almost 400% last year, compared with 2019.
The spike in interest is certainly welcome, but the pandemic has dug a deep hole for black-owned businesses and other minority-owned businesses.
According to a pandemic study, the number of black-owned businesses fell 41% between February 2020 and April 2020. initial shock wave. There was a 17% decline in white-owned businesses during that time.
It’s still as rough as it was in 2020.
67% of black and Asian American-owned companies said they had to reduce operations last year, according to the annual Federal Reserve Bank. survey companies owned by people of color. 54% of whites-owned companies reported a decrease.
92% of black-owned businesses say they are under financial stress, up from 85% in 2019.79% of whites-owned businesses report financial distress. , up from 65% in 2019.
The federal government has provided financial relief to businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program, which has expanded forgivable loans. 61% of black-owned businesses receive PPP money, compared with 85% of Asian Americans and 82% of white businesses.
Nga said many times, that made public opinion more excited because there was no previous banking relationship between the business owner and the bank as the place to apply for a loan.
When it comes to making money and supporting black communities, Ivory says steps like donating to organizations are commendable.
But going regularly to minority-owned businesses and supporting the sales departments to support them is “the best return on investment you can get,” he said.