Black Entrepreneurs Face Major Uphill Battle say Business Owners

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[National Black Business Month]
Paul Little: “It is more difficult in most cases if you’re a minority entrepreneur to get your foot in the door or find financing, get through processes, and find the support you need to keep your business going.”
Photo: YouTube

As America celebrates National Black Business Month, Pasadena, California leaders say Black business owners have not flourished due to a number of unresolved issues, including a lack of support, systemic racism and divisions in the Black community.

Black business owners account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. businesses and roughly a third of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amounts to approximately two million companies owned by African-Americans. Nearly 40 percent of Black-owned businesses are in the fields of health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and laundry services. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, barbershops and beauty salons.

“It is more difficult in most cases if you’re a minority entrepreneur to get your foot in the door or find financing, get through processes, and find the support you need to keep your business going,” said Paul Little, president and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. “That’s a fact.”

According to Little, the issue is about more than just frequenting a restaurant around the corner that’s owned by an African-American entrepreneur. It’s also about making sure Black businesses get support as they continue to grow, especially when it comes to financing and advice.

However, there are other challenges that only Black business owners experience, and one of them can be an inability to maintain Black customers.

“Unfortunately, that becomes part of the challenge because Blacks are willing to take their business to other races because they feel those races are going to be more inclined to take care of their business better than the Black business owner,” said longtime Pasadena businessman Ishmael Trone, himself an African-American. “And that has been a challenge in our community for a very, very long time.”

Trone, who is a member of the local chamber’s executive committee and previously served as the chair of the organization’s board of directors, stressed that the Black Lives Matter movement has left the world more socially conscious and more aware and concerned about the state of Black people and Black businesses.

Read the rest of this Pasadena Now story here: https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/local-black-entrepreneurs-say-they-stil...

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