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COVID-19: African-American businesses struggle to stay afloat


African-American businesses in the United States are struggling under COVID-19. Black businesses are bearing economic brunts of the global pandemic.

Alphonzo Cross, co-owns Parlor Cocktail Denwith his sister in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We didn’t get to even open at all that week. And it also didn’t make financial sense for us to open that night or Friday night when there was just so much uncertainty, and to be quite honest, people were starting to get nervous already. Right now, you have this particular COVID scenario deeply affecting economically African-American communities because they were never set up to win to begin with”, Cross said.

Experts say the pandemic has exposed existing racial inequalities.

“African-American businesses come to the pandemic smaller, less substantially capitalized, less of a reserve in cash and money and therefore harder to weather the storm”, President and CEO of the National Urban League, a civil rights and urban advocacy organization said.

Alphonzo Cross laments the pressure on black businesses due to economic inequalities.

‘‘Places where all this economic sort of economic wealth engine is trucking along pretty hard core, right? Black business owners can’t even get a lease. You can operate, but you have to operate in a particular part of town. By operating in a less enfranchised part of town, right so a disenfranchised part of town, by operating in a part of town that is underdeveloped as other parts of town, you now are setting that business owner up for failure when there are economic downturns”, he added.

Many believe it could also wipe out whatever progress has been made toward building black generational wealth. This has long lagged behind other racial groups.


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