In the months since the pandemic began, the number of working black business owners has plummeted 40%. In North Carolina, minority-owned businesses have struggled at higher rates to secure federal loans through the administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Meanwhile, African Americans continue to die from the coronavirus at a disproportionate rate. According to the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, African Americans make up 22% of North Carolina’s population but have accounted for 35% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
U.S. Representative Alma Adams: “For far too long in this country, structural racism and racial disparities have hindered progress within our Black communities — in terms of economic advancement, education, access to healthcare and many others. The public health crisis we have faced in recent months has revealed an ugly underbelly and laid those disparities bare.”
U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield: “The truth is that at every step along the way, the Trump administration has ignored the racial disparities of this crisis. In particular, minority owned-businesses in districts like mine in Eastern North Carolina have been devastated by this pandemic. They have asked for help from the federal government, and they have been ignored.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez: “The African American unemployment rate this Friday will be somewhere close to 20%, over twice as much of what it was when Barack Obama left office … A recent Washington Post poll found that African Americans are being furloughed and laid off at far higher rates than white Americans, and less than half of black adults still have a job. And yet, Trump and McConnell refuse to take further action … This is a crisis within a crisis.”