How Black Businesses Are Bearing The Brunt Of The Pandemic

Nadine White
·2-min read

Black entrepreneurs have spoken of their struggles during lockdown in the wake of a report showing most received no financial support from the government.

The government is facing renewed demands to address systemic inequalities head-on after research found nearly two thirds of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) business owners felt unable to access relief in the early days of the pandemic.

As reported in The Telegraph this month, an inquiry by a committee of cross-party MPs and the Federation of Small Businesses found a large number of BAME owners said they could not access support because they were rejected, or because of strict qualification criteria and a lack of information.

HuffPost UK has spoken to Black-owned businesses who suggested a lack of trust in the government was also a factor.

It comes as another new report, published on Wednesday, finds systemic disadvantage is a key reason Black entrepreneurs experience worse business outcomes than their white counterparts.

The research by British Business Bank and Oliver Wyman, titled Alone Together: Entrepreneurship and Diversity in the UK, examines the effects ethnic and economic background, gender and geography have on business outcomes.

The research, which will feed into the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities established by the prime minister in the wake of the George Floyd killing, showed that on average, Black entrepreneurs report much lower turnover (over a third less), productivity and profit than White owners.

Temu, owner of Ribbons & Bow
Temu, owner of Ribbons & Bow

Temu is the founder of south London based gift hamper company Ribbon and Bow. Established in 2017, each gift box is curated with the idea of helping people to connect with their loved ones near or far.

During lockdown, the business saw a rise in monthly sales with more people buying self-care packages and lockdown birthday gifts due to restrictions. But being a mother of two young children, Temu found it difficult to work, with limited childcare options while her husband worked on the...

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