Major L. Clark III, Acting Chief Counsel, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration; Dr. Frances Murphy Draper, CEO and Publisher, AFRO-American Newspapers; and Patrice Willoughby Managing Director and Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Signal Group.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 1:30 pm Eastern

An August 2020 Federal Reserve Board report painted a dire portrait of the effects of COVID-19 on minority-owned business, especially in Black communities. Among all small businesses, the number of active business owners fell by 22% from February to April 2020, the largest drop on record. But the racial disparities in the failure rate were even more striking. Black-owned businesses failed at the rate of 41%, Hispanic/Latino businesses at 32%, Asian-America businesses at 26% percent and white businesses at 17%.

McKinsey & Co. projects that a $290 billion racial wealth gap between Black- and white-owned small and medium-sized business may widen as a result of the pandemic.

Recent research by the U.S. Small Business Administration confirms these trends and spotlights the particular challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs supporting families even more than entrepreneurs without children at home.  One proxy statistic for economic distress: In April 2020, total working self-employment was 47% lower for Black Americans with children at home but only 27% lower for those with no children at home, implying that those with children were facing barriers to holding paid jobs.

What will it take to help these businesses come back?

In this National Press Foundation briefing, Major L. Clark III, the Small Business Administration’s expert on minority-owned businesses, will share the agency’s latest research into the challenges facing minority entrepreneurs, including access to credit, the effects of historic discrimination and the SBA’s efforts to close the minority business gap.

Patrice Willoughby of Signal Group will discuss the double burden faced by female entrepreneurs from minority communities, assessing the policy implications of the Biden administration’s relief efforts for vulnerable groups.

And Frances Murphy Draper, publisher of the AFRO news, one of the country’s oldest African American newspapers, will discuss what’s happening in Baltimore and how to bring a solutions-journalism lens to covering the recovery.

This program is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Heising-Simons Foundation. NPF is solely responsible for the content.