Our goal is to help encourage the rebuilding of diminished income as a result of COVID-19 in order to recover and sustain black businesses. It is designed to achieve the following 3 specific objectives:
Award financial stipends/grants to existing Black-owned, small businesses across Central Georgia This assistance will add to working capital that can help further sustain their business operations while recovering from COVID-19 administrative and operational challenges. This includes, but are not limited to payroll, utilities, and other services and products that are needed to sustain their businesses.
Provide marketing and outreach support for the Black business owners supporting efforts to expand the customer base.
Increase Black consumerism (a) with the creation of additional marketing to encourage the community to support black owned business in the same way that the community has been asked to support local businesses; (b) allowing the Black residents and visitors to expand the services and products that are available to them as consumers.
In the spring of 2020, U.S. Congress approved over $660 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
In large part, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other Small Business Administration (SBA) relief efforts did not adequately extend relief to minority and especially black-owned businesses.
This is however, not a new issue as black entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely to be denied a bank loan in comparison to whites. And when approved black entrepreneurs are less likely to receive favorable terms. Finally, the lack of community investment in Black neighborhoods also equates to less capital for business development and therefore less financial cushion to get through economic crises such as this.
In essence, black businesses had a more difficult time accessing relief. Factors included,
“Minority-owned businesses didn’t have relationships with lenders, banks, and credit unions approved to distribute PPP loans.
Additionally, companies without payroll expenses were less likely to access relief funds.
Out of the roughly 2.7 million black-owned businesses, only 120,000 have employees on payroll.
About 40% of revenues generated by black-owned businesses are in sectors that were hardest hit, including leisure, hospitality, transportation, and retail.”
Black business survival rate during the 2008/9 crisis was 50% in comparison to 60% for white firms. And studies show that after this recent pandemic, 40% of black businesses have already closed for good. The purpose of the Central Georgia Black Business Support Fund is to provide an additional layer of relief and support for black businesses and business owners in Central Georgia as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.