$150,000 provided to Black-owned bars and restaurants

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Harry C. Alford and Kay DeBow

Beyond the Rhetoric 1010

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

The National Black Chamber of Commerce and humble ventures providing funds

Accepting Applications Now

Early-stage effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns have disproportionately hit minority businesses. Analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals 41percent of Black business owners disappeared in April. Additionally, according to a Global Strategy Group survey, just 12 percent of Black and Latino business owners who applied for aid received what they asked for. Twenty-six percent said they received only a fraction of what they had requested. Half say they anticipate closing in the next six months.

“Supporting Black-owned restaurants is one practical, actionable way to stand in solidarity with the Black community now, and always.”- Bon Appetit  

Only 130 Black-owned restaurants received PPP loans over $150,000, according to a report by Restaurant Business Online. Low numbers of federal stimulus loans to Black-owned restaurants reflect bad data collection and historically weak lending to people of color. Yet among companies that filled out the race question, just 1.3 percent of them were Black-owned, which demonstrates a long-term problem in small business financing.

Black-owned borrowers are simply less likely to get loans for their businesses, which is particularly important in a capital-intensive restaurant industry that depends heavily on financing for establishments to get off the ground.

“The fact that the PPP program went through the private lending meant it was always going to be racially discriminatory,” said Sarah Crozier, senior communications manager with Main Street Alliance, a small business advocacy group. “The industry has financial redlining problems, and just on the data alone it has data collection problems.”

The lack of loans is due in part to a lack of Black business ownership overall. Just seven percent of U.S. businesses before the coronavirus pandemic were Black-owned, according to data from a University of California, Santa Cruz study last month.

By contrast, about 13 percent of the population, and about 13 percent of restaurant employees, are Black, according to federal data. To many advocates, some of the disparity in business ownership can be traced to challenges with financing—and those problems were reflected in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Advocates argue that the problem lies with the way the fund was created, which relied on private lenders to administer the funds, using the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program.

The data highlights the systemic neglect of minority business owners and the dire situation many are facing alone, which is why the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), in partnership with humble ventures, is announcing financial relief assistance to Black-owned bars and restaurants.

Together, we will be awarding $150,000, in total, to Black-owned businesses through the program/application process outlined below:

Selection Criteria

NBCC and humble ventures will be supporting Black-owned bars and restaurants impacted by COVID-19. Two levels of approval will review completed applications before being accepted and awarded the amount.

Eligible businesses must be at least 51 percent Black-owned, registered with a physical United States address, have a bank account that accepts electronic payments, and have been in business for at least two years.

Applicants will be required to complete a form (one per business) requesting specific information including, but not limited to, ethnicity, contact information, and supplemental documents for proof of work.

Acceptable award expenses will go towards payroll, personal protection equipment (PPE), PPE training and materials, technology upgrades, mortgage or rent payment, and operating expenses.

The donations will be dispersed immediately upon acceptance. The awards (lump-sum up to $2,000) will be sent electronically to the awarded business.

Application Submission Timeline

August 18 — August 28, 2020

Application Form

Form Link: https://bit.ly/blackrestaurantsbars

Partners:

National Black Chamber of Commerce

The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is the largest Black business association in the world. It is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African-American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States.

The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. One hundred forty affiliated chapters are based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters in Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, France, Botswana, Cameroon, and Jamaica.

humble ventures

humble ventures is a venture development firm that drives innovation forward through collaboration and partnerships with startups, investors, and established organizations.

It focuses on diverse entrepreneurs and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

Harry C. Alford Jr. is the Co-Founder and President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Kay DeBow is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the Chamber. www.nationalbcc.org halford@nationalbcc.org; kdebow@nationalbcc.org. Harry C. Alford III is the Founder of humble ventures. Harry@humble.vc.

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