African Americans have experienced a higher percentage of COVID-19 deaths than any other population, (a rate of 1 in 1400 compared to 1 of 3500 non-minority). Many of the health care facilities in our communities have been closed over the last several years, which also exacerbates this problem.
Now the rumors of the dismantling of the U.S. Postal Services by the Trump Administration, where more than 40% of the employees are minorities, will throw numerous African Americans out of work, adding them to the already high unemployment rolls.
Our children are also significantly impacted because of limited access to the internet and broadband connectivity, forcing many families to have them return to unsafe conditions in our schools. And finally, we have lost 40% of African American businesses during this Pandemic, some of which may never return.
All of these factors have had a Tsunami-like effect on the African American community today and for the future.
The lack of capital and banking support for African American businesses has created a condition that existed before the pandemic and continues as an issue. The Payroll Protection Program ( PPP) had more than $1 trillion in loans for small businesses, but many African American companies were unable to access these funds. Our community has the lowest participation in this type of loan assistance provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The structure utilized to distribute the funds under PPP was SBA’s 7(a) program. This is SBA’s most popular program for supporting loans to the small business community $23 billion annually before the pandemic. Historically, African American businesses had the lowest participation rate in this program (less than 1.3%), and the 14 non-bank SBA Preferred lenders none were African American entities. Therefore, African American Businesses never had a chance to obtain significant PPP funding as well as their poor relationship with the commercial banking industry.
The solution for African American businesses must result in jobs and wealth creation in our communities. The Federal Government has traditionally been the catalyst that has driven our growth over the years. Through law and regulations established in the ’70s and ’80s by the late Congressman Parren Mitchel required federal, state, and major corporations to provide contracting opportunities to the African American Business community under regulation 95-507. For the last couple of decades, African American business growth has declined with the expanded definition of minority businesses. This has made the size of the federal contract pie smaller for African American businesses, thus reducing jobs and wealth in our communities. The annual federal spending budget exceeds $750 billion.
The African American community requires a “Marshall Plan,” today similar to the economic program established after WWll, to rebuild Europe. Our community will need some major financial help at all levels. We need to reconstruct the African American community today and protect our children and future generations
Please VOTE as if your life depends on it because it does.
www.raceforthenet.com to order my book
Next week: – What the Biden/Harris Administration Needs to do in revitalizing African American Businesses in our country?