Home News Coronavirus Update: Study Pushes For More Aid to Black Businesses

Coronavirus Update: Study Pushes For More Aid to Black Businesses

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A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York details the effect of the pandemic on Black-owned businesses. Much like the virus’ disproportionate impact on the health and finances of African Americans, Covid-19 has done the same to Black businesses, causing many to close their doors permanently.

Communities with large numbers of Black-owned businesses are also located in counties that have been hardest hit by Covid-19. Thirty counties account for 40 percent of receipts from Black-owned businesses, and 19 of those areas — roughly two-thirds — have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. Counties with more white-owned firms have a lower share of cases.

In addition, 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have closed, compared to 17 percent of white-owned businesses, according to an analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Areas with the highest share of Black-owned businesses include Los Angeles County; Cook County, Ill.; Harris County, Texas; Wayne County, Mich.; and counties around Washington, D.C.

The pandemic has revealed a long-standing structural disadvantage faced by Black businesses: the lack of strong relationships with banks.

“Fewer than 1 in 4 Black-owned employer firms has a recent borrowing relationship with a bank,” the researchers said, citing a Fed survey from 2019. “Black-owned firms — both employer and non-employer — apply for financing at equal or higher rates than white-owned firms but are denied at higher rates.”

This disadvantage has been especially apparent as many business owners to recover. Through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which offered forgivable loans to small businesses to avoid layoffs, businesses located in communities of color were less likely to get loans. For example, in Bronx County, N.Y., only 7 percent of the businesses in the county received aid.

Researchers of the study advocated for a more geographically targeted approach in the next round of coronavirus relief that focuses on the “the hardest hit areas and communities that lack critical infrastructure (hospitals, banks) to ameliorate the gaps.”

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC

According to a report by The Aspen Institute, about 23 million Americans are at risk of being evicted as moratoriums expire and courts reopen. Around 30 state moratoriums have expired since May and some renters have already experienced illegal evictions, even with the moratoriums.

The problem is expected to worsen as some states experience coronavirus case surges and 30 million citizens remain unemployed. If the federal eviction moratorium is not extended in the next coronavirus relief bill, landlords can initiate eviction proceedings in 30 days.

U.S. firms added just 167,000 jobs in July, according to a report released on Wednesday by payroll processor ADP. The reduction in hiring suggests a stalling of the economic recovery due to an uptick in coronavirus infections nationwide. Economists expect today’s jobs report will show a similar slowdown. July’s job addition falls well below the 4.3 million job gains in June and May’s increase of 3.3. million. The economy still has 13 million fewer jobs than it did in February of 2019.

The makers of Clorox announced the company might not be able to restock the product in stores until 2021 due to the pandemic.

When the pandemic first hit in March, Clorox wipes sold out quickly in stores. Although production was increased, it couldn’t keep up with consumer demand and the needs of hospitals and caregivers. Lysol is experiencing a similar problem.

Until Clorox wipes become more widely available, the company says it will increase production on its other cleaning products, like liquid bleach, in coming months.

White House, Democratic and Republican leaders continue talks on the next coronavirus relief package. Negotiators say they hope to soon be able to break the stalemate in talks and have set a deadline for a deal by the end of this week.

“We’re going to work around the clock the next few days to see if we can bridge the issues,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a press conference. “Some issues we’ve been able to agree on. Some significant issues are still open.”

“They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said following the 90-minute meeting, while not offering specifics. “We’re still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we’re continuing to go at it.”

In addition to their earlier demands, Democrats are looking to add another $300 billion to the aid package for the safe reopening of schools.

After student-athletes with the PAC 10 football conference called for safety protocols due to the pandemic and efforts to end racial injustice, players called on the Big Ten and the NCAA to review its current Covid-19 safety protocols.

A letter on The Player’s Tribune website outlines five areas student-athletes are requesting more regulations and enforcement in to protect the well-being of all athletes, including “more oversight and transparency, prevention and safety protocols, testing, contact tracing and related procedures, player assurances and hazard-related economic support.”

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