Pandemic fallout cuts deep wounds for Black-owned businesses. Can corporate America help? | Opinion

By John Harmon Sr.

While the pandemic has presented economic challenges for everyone, small businesses owned by people of color have been among the hardest hit.

Nationally, the number of active business owners in the United States fell by 22% from February to April 2020 as the pandemic forced businesses to close their doors. But for Black-owned businesses, the devastation ran nearly twice as deep.

The number of active African-American business owners declined 41% and locally, 41% of Black businesses were projected to stay closed resulting from the George Floyd protests last June as well as the continued effects of COVID-19.

This narrative has become the norm across America. It’s time to address this crisis head-on.

The pandemic poured gasoline on a fire that was already smoldering. Businesses operating closest to the margin were most likely to fail as the worst, but shortest, recession in 75 years quickly

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