Black and minority-owned businesses hit hardest during pandemic, research shows

Posted at 12:19 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 01:19:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY — As many businesses across the country start to rebound from the pandemic, black-owned and minority-owned businesses are still struggling to make a comeback.

Black and minority-owned businesses have been hit harder than others during the pandemic according to the Utah Black Chamber and national research.

Numbers from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that 41 percent of black-owned businesses in the country have been shuttered by COVID-19 compared to 17 percent of white-owned businesses.

Karen Rodriguez, secretary and market chair for the Utah Black Chamber, says the reason for this is proximity, customer base, and the lack for minority-owned businesses to get support from banks and investors.

However, Rodriguez said there are ways we can help those businesses to recover.

“If you’re continuing to go outside and shop, shop from a minority-owned business, right, if you are looking for a contractor, increase your supply or diversity,” Rodriguez said.

Business owner Giles Witherspoon-Boyd said Utah’s numbers aren’t as bad as other states because the state doesn’t have a large Black population and therefore the customer base for most businesses isn’t just Black people.

Rodriguez encourages people to reach out to the Utah Black Chamber for details on supporting minority-owned businesses.