Information resources for natural product companies belongs to BIPOC

Information resources for natural product companies belongs to BIPOC

Minority-owned businesses are increasing in number: In the last 10 years they have accounted for more than half of all businesses created in the United States, creating 4.7 million jobs. At the same time, these groups face significant barriers. Although the number of minority-owned businesses has increased by 35 percent, the average gross revenues of these businesses have fallen by 16 percent.

One reason why is access to capital. The Fed’s 2019 Small Business Credit Survey, which focused on minority-owned businesses, found that BIPOC business loan applicants tend to have worse outcomes than their white counterparts. Compared to white business owners, Black- and Hispanic-owned firms were more likely to receive smaller shares of financing than they applied for or none at all. As a result, minority-owned firms reported shying away from even applying for financing, meaning that these entrepreneurs also relied to a greater extent on personal funds and credit scores to keep their businesses afloat.

Plus, when disaster strikes, it strikes minority-owned businesses harder. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the number of active business owners overall fell by 22% between February and April 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the differences among closure rates are striking. The report found that the number of Black business owners dropped by 41%, Latinx business owners fell by 32%, and Asian business owners dropped by 26%. By comparison, white business owners experienced just a 17% drop.

In parallel to the systemic barriers that place a majority of minority-owned businesses at the geographical centre of the most underserved areas in times of crisis, minority-owned businesses are also on more fragile ground prior to the disaster, with lower cash flow, weaker banking relationships and pre-existing funding gaps.

A number of not-for-profit, government and private sector resources are emerging to address the needs, with grants, networks and acceleration programmes created specifically for BIPOC entrepreneurs. Some of these are outlined below.

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