NYC Minority and Women-Owned Entrepreneurs Say Businesses Won’t Survive Next Six Months

A recent survey found 85% of minority and women-owned businesses in New York City believe that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, their businesses won’t survive the next six months. Another 30% believe they won’t survive the current month.

The city’s comptroller Scott Stringer conducted the survey of 500 minority and women-owned businesses, calling the study’s results shocking, alarming, and an emergency. He blames “unresponsive city agencies” for a lack of financial support for those businesses who he credits with being the “backbone of neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic.” 

Julie Liu, a business owner who helps homeowners and businesses access clean energy and has partnered with minority and women-owned businesses, echoed Stringer’s concerns saying, “Channels to obtain financing for minorities were definitely slow.” She said it’s women and minority entrepreneurs that disproportionately lack upfront capital.

Responding to the survey, City Hall released a statement, saying since March, about 300 minority and women-owned businesses received $363 million in emergency contracts, and that the Mayor’s office has “removed systemic barriers to participation, increased discretionary amounts for those businesses, and addressed disparities in access to capital,” with more to come over the next year.

Stringer told NY1 he will be implementing new requirements as part of the contracting process. He added, “…if we don’t act now, these businesses will be out of existence in a matter of months.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

To say this year has been devastating for minority and women-owned businesses would be an understatement. As you well know and read above, these business owners face disparities in accessing capital which ultimately leaves them behind.

This pandemic exposes just how widespread racial and gender disparities are for business owners. It’s awful what these entrepreneurs are facing. They know the fate of their businesses is a grim one. Preventative measures for emergencies, especially unprecedented ones, are not considered let alone implemented and it’s the businesses, the families of those business owners, and entire neighborhoods that depend on those businesses that suffer in the end.