Black-owned businesses suffer COVID-19 impact

Delnaz Kazemi, Reporter

Businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic. Small businesses across the country have had to close because they simply could not keep their business running. A survey found that 83.5% of local businesses were negatively impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic and that an average 31.4% expect more than six months will pass before their business returns to its usual level of operations.

Another big event that is still happening is the recent rise in civil rights protests. Many people, including those who have a large following on social media, have advocated for the support of black-owned businesses across the country, including restaurants, clothing stores and others.

Jubilee Maxwell, owner of Custom Crownz, a business that sells hair products, has experienced some complications during this time.

”I could not get certain fabrics in,” Maxwell said. “The [fabric] company was shut down, so my best-seller fabrics are really hard to find.”

However, Maxwell has noticed some positive consequences as well. “People need to sit around more and need to protect their hair more,” she said. “[COVID-19] taught me how to push my business forward through hard times,” she said.

Without an ability to communicate with customers in person as often, some businesses may start to see a decrease in sales. However, many have also found different ways to promote and sell their products, turning to social media completely to advertise their products and services. Sasha Abiodun, owner of AestheticxSasha, has been using her Instagram account to promote her beauty products. However, there are some changes that have came upon the business as well.

“A lot of revenue comes from pop-up shops,” Abiodun said.

Pop-up shops are temporary storefronts operated usually by online merchants. Business are skewing away from events like that, since they include in-person contact.

Another issue that businesses have experienced is a lack or loss of staff.

In an interview with Reuters, Olivia Colt, a small business owner in Oakland, Cali., saw a staff reduction from 25 to 6. Colt, who owns Salt & Honey Catering Plus Events, has been struggling after the pandemic hit.

“I’ve applied for all the grants and loans, I have maxed out my credit card, used my company’s reserves, spent my savings,” she said.

For more information about Black-owned businesses and how to support them, click here.