Minority-owned businesses bearing brunt of economic impact of COVID-19

Minority-owned businesses bearing brunt of economic impact of COVID-19

BOSTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration has been tasked to issue over $300 million in loan relief as part of the Payroll Protection Program.

The second round of emergency funding for small businesses opened up Monday and of the $310 billion set aside for the PPP, just $60 billion will go to assist small lenders and community-based financial institutions.

Advocates say it’s not enough and the hope of economic relief via a second round of funding in the federal Paycheck Protection Program is slim for businesses like Nikia Londry’s, owner of Intriguing Hair.

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”I did have to let go of one of my employees," says Londry. "And if this does continue longer I don’t know if I’ll be able to sustain keeping my employees.”

In a letter to Treasury Steven Mnuchin, a coalition of civil rights and community development organizations asked for $10 billion to be set aside for minority-owned businesses:

"Businesses of color are a substantial source of income and employment in communities of color—accounting for 8.7 million jobs at total annual payroll of $280 billion, and $1.3 trillion in revenue—yet they were almost entirely excluded from the first round of funding in the PPP,” wrote the group. " As the Treasury Secretary, you must use your authority to ensure that the structural issues with the PPP do not continue to exclude businesses of color.​"

The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts says the 14,000 minority-owned businesses in Massachusetts employ 125,000 workers and contribute billions to the state’s economy. ​They are working with small businesses on solutions.

“The development of some communities cannot exist with the underdevelopment of others,” says Segun Idowu, executive director BECMA. "Minority businesses provide an immense amount of support to the economy whether it’s local, state or federal.”

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