A new study about small business owners was conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and found that the top two issues facing entrepreneurs today are inflation and supply chain issues. However, an additional study also noted that Black entrepreneurs have different hurdles to overcome due to race.
Another study regarding the government’s Payment Protection Program (PPP) showed that systemic racism is also a challenge for this particular group. It stated that “businesses of color were more likely than White-owned businesses to be disadvantaged by the structural limitations built into the PPP program.”
A few key points of the PPP analysis included:
1) “Businesses owned by people of color are likely to have fewer employees and less revenue, meaning they were less likely to garner higher fees that would make them attractive borrowers at the outset of the program.”
2) “Businesses owned by people of color are even more likely to have no employees, putting them at a disadvantage to larger businesses that could garner higher fees.
3) “Pre-existing disparities in access to capital have posed further disadvantages for business owners of color, both by making it less likely that they would have the commercial lending relationships necessary to access the PPP program and by discouraging many from applying. These challenges may have played a role in lenders’ application processing decisions.”
A study conducted by Future Forum also showed the tremendous increase of Black workers wanting more flexibility instead of working traditional hours. This ultimately led to labor shortages. Out of 5,448 workers surveyed, 83% of Black workers said they wanted a work schedule that promoted work-life balance.
Securing resources and funding is harder for Black businesses as well. The Federal Reserve found that over half of Black business owners were rejected for bank loans, which is twice the rate compared to white business owners. The Federal Reserve also showed that over half of Black business owners were rejected for bank loans—which is twice the rate compared to white business owners.
Black businesses received a boost right after the 2020 George Floyd protests, but it has since slowed down. However, entrepreneurs continue to receive support from Black investors as well as various grant opportunities.