COVID-19: More Than 50 Percent of Black Businesses May Not Survive

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[Black Businesses\COVID-19]
National Geographic: "National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses—some 440,000 enterprises—have been shuttered by COVID-19, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses."
Photo: Twitter

For Monique Greenwood, this year started strong. She celebrated 25 years as proprietor of Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast Inns, and business was good.

Then the pandemic struck, triggering a flood of cancellations. In a matter of days, she went from a projected 80 percent occupancy rate to zero.

Greenwood, who operates B&Bs in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Cape May, New Jersey, and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, was forced to lay off nearly all of her 15 staff members as she endured three months with virtually no income.

By June, she was hopeful again. Covid-19 cases seemed under control, and the nation began reopening. “I’m an optimistic person by nature,” she says. “I’m always going to feel I will make it. I don’t know how, but I will find a way.”

But then the virus came roaring back, this time in regions that had been relatively unscathed. The encouraging new bookings at Akwaaba’s vacation-area properties in Cape May and the Poconos disappeared.

“This is the worst thing, my worst fear,” Greenwood says. “I was cooking with gas. Now I’m getting cancellations.”

COVID-19 shutdowns have pounded Black-owned businesses particularly hard. Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses—some 440,000 enterprises—have been shuttered by COVID-19, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses.

For the rest of this National Geographic story log on to: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/07/black-owned-businesse...

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