Minority Businesses Feel Pain of Pandemic From Financial As Well As Health Standpoint
SATURDAY, JUN 20, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just affecting the health of minorities disproportionately; according to a recently released report featuring Social Explorer-driven tools, it’s also having a disproportionate impact on black- and Hispanic-owned businesses.
A June 19th New York Times article highlights the disparities, citing studies that show 40 percent of black business owners stopped working in April; only 17 percent of white-owned businesses shut down. A substantial majority of businesses in minority neighborhoods didn’t have enough cash to pay for two weeks of bills. Only 12 percent of minority businesses reported receiving the full amounts of federal stimulus funds they’d requested.
The Times used Social Explorer tools to create zip code-level maps for six metros – New York, Chicago, Houston, Miami, San Francisco, and Detroit – and data from the JPMorgan Chase Institute to identify where businesses had a two-week cash buffer. Virtually all of the cash-poor businesses were in minority neighborhoods, according to the Social Explorer maps of Census data.
The Small Business Administration recently staged the latest high-profile attack on the idea of public data earlier this month, initially refusing to release the identity of borrowers who received loans from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, one of the few popular recovery efforts created to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration, however, bowed to congressional pressure and claimed it would release data, but only for borrowers who received loans of $150,000 or more. The $150,000 threshold for individual businesses will cover about 75 percent of the $512 billion in loans that have been approved; no date has been set for the data's release.