Story at a glance

  • After George Floyd’s death, ensuing protests and campaigns raised awareness and support for black businesses.
  • A new survey by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce found Black business owners have seen an increase in business since the beginning of June.
  • Black businesses have also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic this year.

In the days and weeks after George Floyd was killed while in police custody in late May, articles and posts online shared lists of Black businesses to support as the nation again confronted its racism. 

Since the beginning of June, 75 percent of Black business owners have seen an increase in business, according to a poll of more than 400 Black business owners by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Searches for Black-owned businesses on Groupon have also increased by more than 300 percent in that time.

"George Floyd’s murder has brought America’s attention once again to the systemic racism that informs policing, prisons, banking, housing, healthcare, and education," the nonprofit NABC said in a release on June 8. 

The flood of support was much needed, the survey found, with as many as 41 percent of Black small businesses forced to close permanently due to COVID-19 compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. And even though 76 percent of Black-owned businesses reported being negatively affected by COVID-19, only 5 percent of those that applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan received one, the recent survey found. 


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While 74 percent of Black business owners reported being hopeful about the future of race relations in the United States, 74 percent said they’ve had fewer opportunities due to a lack of capital investment and resources targeted towards Black communities, according to the survey, published to coincide with the beginning of National Black Business Month. Nearly half said it took between three and six years for their businesses to get off the ground and become successful, and 80 percent said they faced more challenges in doing so due to their race. Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 


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“We’re thrilled to celebrate Black Business Month as this community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and traditionally suffers from a lack of access to adequate capital and resources,” said Aaron Cooper, Interim CEO, Groupon, in a release. “One of the many ways that we’re translating our support for Black Lives Matter into meaningful action is by highlighting and championing the success of Black-owned businesses and looking for more ways to connect them to our diverse customer base. We hope that everyone will join us in supporting the more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in this country at a time when they need us the most.”

Groupon has also announced a number of initiatives, mostly based out of Illinois, where the company is headquartered, including a curated collection of Black-owned businesses, a "#PassTheMic" social media campaign and a series of panel discussions. The company is also partnering with Kiva.org, a nonprofit that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students, to raise funds for a Black-owned business fund.


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Published on Aug 03, 2020