As we approach the end of summer and look towards the cooler months again, many of us are concerned about the potential of another lockdown to the emergence of new highly contagious COVID-19 variants. This concern is shared by millions of Americans who don’t want to face unemployment or financial hardships again. Still, for Black entrepreneurs especially, an economic shutdown could have a unique adverse effect on business.
If you need a picture of what COVID-19’s disproportionate effects look like on Black business owners, one study provides a grim look. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses closed their doors due to COVID-19 compared to only 14 percent of White companies.
We can only assume that another government shutdown would bring more devastating effects for Black entrepreneurs. COVID-19 revealed the underlying inequalities and inequities that affect Black Americans’ employment, health, and wealth. And until these deeply-rooted problems are addressed, COVID-19, and any economic disaster, will continue to take their toll on Black business owners.
Black entrepreneurs can’t depend on the government to bail them out in the case of another crisis because business owners are still trying to stay afloat to this day. No one can say for sure right now if another economic shutdown is to come, but here are some ways to support a Black-owned business today:
1. Purchase a good or service. This one is a no-brainer. Put your money where your mouth is!
2. Comment under their business’ social media posts and repost their content on your page. Online engagement helps entrepreneurs reach new customers, so support a Black-owned business for free by boosting their content by commenting or reposting.
3. Tell your friends and family about your favorite Black-owned business. Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing tool, so help out a local business by encouraging your loved ones to patron them.
The fact is entrepreneurs are still rebuilding from the recent shutdown, so the toll of a new lockdown is unimaginable. We can’t wish a future outbreak away, but we can come together as a community to continue rooting for and supporting Black-owned businesses every day.