The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was launched a year ago, but studies have revealed that its design has caused harm to businesses owned by black and other minority groups. An analysis of data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and interviews with small business owners and bankers have shown that businesses owned by minorities were underserved by the aid initiatives. This was mainly due to their lack of connections or because they were rejected due to program rules. To reach out to the most vulnerable businesses, lenders had to make an extra effort, but the program offered no incentive for them to do so.
TruFund Financial, a New York lender that focuses on historically disadvantaged communities, spent two hours on average on each of the 490 loans it granted last year, which is much more than what large lenders did. Shaundell Newsome, a Las Vegas business owner and co-president of Small Business for America's Future, an advocacy group, said that improving outcomes for black business owners would require changes across the banking sector. An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed that some counties with large numbers of black-owned businesses were mainly the Bronx, Queens and Wayne County in Michigan. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve, nearly 80 percent of black or Asian-descended small business owners said their companies were in a weak financial position, compared to 54 percent of white business owners. The Middletown twins from Maryland created a business selling steamed seafood as they grew up in an area where blue crab is one of the most popular foods.
Most non-bank lenders, including those that specialize in underserved communities, were excluded from the PPP for weeks while they waited for approval from the SBA. Denise, a business owner, admits that she was nervous when the pandemic began but her company Partake Foods thrived due to the growing interest in black-owned businesses following George Floyd's assassination. It is true that African-Americans and other minorities have been unable to obtain the same benefits as white Americans when it comes to business creation. However, being in the right place can make all the difference when starting your own company. State and municipal policies, community support and even the local environment can play a role in creating new businesses and business ventures. The Bronx is one such place where minority-owned businesses have been able to find success despite all odds.
The borough has seen an influx of minority entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of its diverse population and access to resources. From food trucks to tech startups, these businesses are creating jobs and providing services that are helping to revitalize the area. The success stories of these entrepreneurs are inspiring others to take a chance on their dreams and create something new. The success stories of minority-owned businesses in the Bronx are proof that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. Despite facing challenges such as lack of access to capital or resources, these entrepreneurs have been able to create successful businesses that are making a positive impact on their community.
These stories serve as an inspiration for other minority entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to make their dreams come true.