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Biden: One in five minority businesses closed due to COVID-19

Businesses owned by minorities faced significantly more temporary disclosures than non-minority businesses amid the pandemic

As the pandemic unfolded, data shows that COVID-19 sparked either the temporary or permanent closure of minority-owned firms at significantly higher rates than non-minority businesses, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research paper. Between February and April, the number of self-employed Black business owners decreased by 41 percent, which was the largest hit racial group. There was a 32 percent and 26 percent drop in self-employment rates for Latinx and Asian workers. In contrast, the number of white self-employed workers saw a 17 percent drop in activity over the same period.

Construction, restaurants, hotels, and transportation all faced large declines in the number of business owners due to COVID-19, and according to a Stanford University study, the concentrations of female, Black Americans, Latinx, and Asian businesses in industries hit hardest by the pandemic contributed to why losses were higher for these groups than the national average loss. Immigrant businesses were also devastated by losses of 36 percent.

The number of active business owners in the United States plunged from 15.0 million to 11.7 million over the crucial two-month window from February to April with the onset of the pandemic. According to the Stanford University report, no other one, two, or even 12-month window of time has ever shown such a large change in business activity. For comparison, from the beginning to the end of the Great Recession, the number of business owners decreased by 730,000, representing only a 5 percent reduction.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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