The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all facets of daily life. Americans and businesses in all sectors have been forced to adapt to a new reality. This is especially true for small businesses owned by women and minorities.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic minority and women entrepreneurs faced an uphill battle:
- Although minority-owned companies make up 50% of the 2 million new businesses in the last 10 years and created 4.7 million jobs, they still face difficulties in accessing capital, resources, and contracting opportunities.
- Women-owned businesses on the other hand, employ 9.4 million workers in the United States alone. Last year, 64% of new women-owned businesses were started by women of color. Yet only 25% of female entrepreneurs seek out business financing.
To help support this crucial sector of the economy, we’ve compiled a list of resources for women and minority-owned small businesses to help navigate these uncertain times and emerge stronger.
Federal Government Assistance Programs
The biggest hurdle small business owners are facing is the sharp decline in revenue. Over 50% of small businesses say their company will only be able to continue operating for up to 3 months. If your company has either been forced to shut down completely or operate at a reduced capacity, you know all too well that incoming revenue has gone from a stream to a trickle.
The Federal government has put several initiatives in place to help small businesses ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
You can learn more about these small business relief programs and resources here.
The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)
As a leader in helping women start and build successful businesses, the USWCC has partnered with the American Small Business Chamber of Commerce to gather resources and provide guidance to women entrepreneurs for SBA relief fund applications.
For more information visit the USWCC’s site.
As the largest black-owned bank in America, OneUnited is offering business loans as a Preferred SBA 7A lender during the pandemic. This provides African American-owned businesses with a resource and partner when it comes to PPP loans. OneUnited follows all the SBA’s guidelines and criteria while understanding the specific needs that black-owned businesses face.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
The NGLCC has been working closely with the SBA to help support LGBT-owned businesses and directing them to resources that can get them through the pandemic. Local affiliate NGLCC chambers can provide regional information and economic recovery opportunities available to local businesses, as well as accessing PPP funds.
For more information, visit the NGLCC’s dedicated COVID-10 relief page.
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)
As America’s largest Hispanic business organization, the USHCC has put together a detailed guide to help Hispanic-business owners access SBA funds such as the PPP during the coronavirus pandemic.
For many entrepreneurs, these are uncertain times. However, it has always been the perseverance of small business owners like you, whether you’re an immigrant, person of color, a woman, or identify as LGBT, who have kept our economy moving forward.
Pitney Bowes stands behind you and will continue to provide resources to support your small business and the community it serves.