Today is Small Business Saturday. The day where we are encouraged to shop small and local businesses.
Small business Saturday was birthed by American Express on November 27, 2010, to help small businesses gain exposure and inspire consumers to shop within their communities during the holiday season.
Now it’s 2020, the year of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the year small businesses became tainted under the Payment Protection Program known as PPP that was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Support Act. They signed into law on March 27, 2020.
The PPP was said to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Yet, black-owned businesses experienced a different story from the onset.
As a Black woman business owner, I turned to the University of California research, and found the following.
According to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, CBS News reported, “There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.
Several factors explain the high rate of closures of black-owned businesses. Perhaps most important, many lack access to bank credit, making it harder to survive financial emergencies. Many are micro-enterprises, providing a livelihood to a sole proprietor or a few employees at most. Profit margins are thin, while owners’ financial savings are often meager, making them vulnerable to sudden downturns.” [https://www.cbsnews.com/news/black-owned-busineses-close-thousands-coronavirus-pandemic/]
You may be wondering, who exactly received the money?
On July 8, 2020, CBS News reports a list of 650,000 small businesses that received the funds.
The Washington Post also gave the public an inside peek into who received funds. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/trumps-waikiki-partner-kushner-family-among-ppp-borrowers/2020/07/06/2bc40b38-bfe9-11ea-8908-68a2b9eae9e0_story.html]
After being denied, to my surprise, I learned about some of the companies that receive large cash bailout loans. Such as…
Business owners who are also politicians. Shouldn’t they have been exempted from cashing in?
- A CEO who is a significant donor to the current president received loans (yes, plural) totaling up to $30 million. The CEO is a large franchisee of Wendy’s Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants.
- Kanye West for his clothing line and sneaker brand Yeezy. (Received up to $5 million) Heck, he makes a $250 sneaker and has t-shirts in more than 1,000 stores.
- Ice Cube’s professional basketball league. (Wait. What? Didn’t he jump to the occupant’s campaign late in the game? Oh, never mind.)
- Designers in the likes of Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, and suit maker Hickey Freeman received money up to $5 million.
- Companies owned by the family of Jared Kushner, the White House senior adviser, and the occupant’s son-in-law.
- Let’s not forget the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, listed in a 2017 financial disclosure of a company, Renaissance Acquisition Company LLC, received at least $6 million.
- The law firm of one of the current occupant’s lawyers, Marc Kasowitz, also received PPP.
- Strip club owner, actually one of the largest in the country, Rick’s Cabaret, received $5.4 million.
I can go on and on, but you get the picture.
We cannot allow 2020 to be the narrative of our local and small businesses.
Today, let’s get up, put on our masks, and lineup outside of small and local businesses everywhere. Yes, food trucks, coffee shops, small boutiques, donut places, locally owned resale shops, art galleries, financial consultants, hand-made card shops, tea and cup places, authors freelance sites, online companies who cannot afford a storefront, bakers, artists, freelance writers, local and small salons and barbers, local designers, fitness experts, local restaurants, small and local book stores, wellness coaches, boutique publishing companies, social media hosts, jewelry makers, and consultants, local and small car companies, etc. Today, and regularly, let’s frequent and focus on the local and small owned. We, the community, must do our due diligence and write the narrative of what we consider small and show our support today and shop local and small as God leads you to spend your dollars.
No, this blog post is not a contradiction to yesterday’s post. It’s in addition to. Let’s bring back the small and local businesses that American Express began highlighting in 2010 and show that we are serious about the economy for all people. Not only those, the PPP overseers decided to give lavishly with millions.
Supporting small and local businesses keeps the companies thriving and helps the immediate community. When your hard-earned dollars are spent at small and local businesses, more money stays within the neighborhood. Did you know that for every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stay within your local economy? Yes! That helps with schools and other organizations through taxes.
Look, we know we must support one another. Why not start today if you can afford to spend money during the year of the pandemic and help lift a small and local business.
Do you have a small and local business? Feel free to place your link in the comment section and share this post with others to gain visibility for small and local companies for all who are interested in shopping locally this year.
Here’s the full list of companies who received PPP, shared by The Washington Post.