Black-Owned Businesses Are Up 30% Since The Start Of The Pandemic

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Businesses have struggled throughout the last two years due to the pandemic, and while many have closed their doors, those that survived are ticking up, including one particular sector: Black-owned businesses.

Data from the University of California Santa Cruz found that as the effects of the pandemic begin to relinquish their hold, the number of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. has shot up around 30% from pre-pandemic numbers.

Black-owned businesses aren't the only ones on the rebound either, as the data showed that Latinx-owned businesses are also soaring above what was seen in 2019.

Throughout the pandemic, there has been growing support for small businesses that feared shutdowns, inflation, and bigger corporations outlasting them.

In an effort to lend a helping hand, several organizations and people have stepped up to help make sure doors stay open.

In Kansas City, the nonprofit G.I.F.T., or Generating Income for Tomorrow, stepped up to help Black-owned businesses after a Facebook group talked about what they could do in the early days of the pandemic.

"Hey, if all of us put in $10, we could really build up Black businesses and Black communities ourselves," G.I.F.T. CEO Brandon Calloway said he wrote in the group, KCUR reported.

Now the nonprofit has given over $500,000 to help 40 different businesses struggling throughout the pandemic.

But Black-owned businesses are also thriving without assistance, as a report from the Guardian found an increase in Black-owned businesses, especially in those owned by Black women.

Melissa Bradley, the founder of 1863 Ventures, an agency that works with Black and brown entrepreneurs, shared with Business Insider that she is seeing more Black women step up and lead their own companies, and it isn't a shock.

"At a time when folks are rethinking their lives and choices, it is not surprising that more Black women are electing to become CEOs of their own companies rather than waiting for their intelligence and skills to be recognized at their current firms," Bradley told Insider.

Some of those entrepreneurs, like Isha Joseph, who owns Make Manifest, a clothing and jewelry store in Brooklyn, are making their mark with their small businesses.

Joseph shared with NPR that she worked to support fellow businesses in her neighborhood of Bed-Stuy after watching the world close in the spring of 2020.

"It was like a ghost town," Joseph told NPR. "It was more the despair. Just people feeling very uncertain. Not knowing what's going on, not knowing what's happening."

Working with other women who owned businesses on her street of Tompkins, they formed the group that has been nicknamed "Black Girl Magic Row," supporting one another through the most difficult of times.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Truly," Joseph told NPR.

Now, Joseph and those she partnered with are seeing business return and their hard work paying off.

The work of Joseph and G.I.F.T. comes after one of the most difficult times in recent memories for business owners.

And now, despite black business ownership dropping 40% from February to April 2020, the largest of any racial or ethnic group, according to a House committee on small business report, there has been a resurgence in Black-owned businesses that doesn't seem to be stopping.