Heard on the Street – here’s what we were reading last week:
We Asked 16 Black Business Owners What the Past Few Months Have Been Like: Across New York, this pandemic has forced small businesses — many of which were already operating on tight margins and paying staggeringly high rents — to face the possibility of closure. This has been especially true, statistics show, for Black-owned businesses, which lack easy access to loans, and seem to be benefiting less from federal stimulus programs.
Black start-up founders say venture capitalists are racist, but the law protects them: In the rarefied world of white-collar dealmaking, legal protections born out of the civil rights movement effectively don’t apply, thanks to court decisions that have watered down legislation.
How small businesses have dealt with the crisis: Data shows that 20% of small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) in America have closed since the virus hit. Things are worse for black-owned businesses, which often find it more difficult to get bank loans; 40% of such firms have shut.
Small businesses are drowning in coronavirus expenses: Expenses are piling up for cash-strapped small businesses as they invest in what it takes to lure customers and workers back into shops: fancy air filters, plexiglass shields, and stockpiles of PPE.