Op-Ed: Black Businesses get a $3.86 COVID-19 Bail-Out …
By Harlem’s Black Business Empowerment Committee
(HARLEM – April 9, 2020) – Did you know as part of the $2T COVID-19 relief package the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) negotiated a $10 million bail-out for Black businesses? This amounts to $3.86 for each of the roughly 2.6M Black businesses operating in America. Yes, you read that correctly — three dollars and eighty-six cents.
On March 20, 2020, the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer with the stated purpose of offering proposals to assist Black people as Congress negotiated the $2T COVID-19 funding package.
The letter proposed 94 initiatives totaling approximately $450 Billion. Only 3 of the 94 initiatives spoke directly to Black people.
Only $10 Million of the $450B is supposedly designated for Black businesses across America. Go figure…what are you going to do with your $3.86?
NY’s Black business community and the Black faith community are watching. We are hoping you will join us as we assess the effectiveness of those we elected to represent us and respond accordingly as the 2020 and 2021 election seasons unfold. COVID-19 emergency and recovery spending will be the Black Business Community’s litmus test for NYC, NYS and Federal candidates seeking political office during the 2020 and 2021 election seasons.
Who are we? Harlem’s Black Business Empowerment Committee (BBE) is a collective of Black community organizations, churches and business owners that have come together to put forth a Plan for Black Business Empowerment. The goal is to make Black economic health and Black business empowerment a priority for all elected officials.
Primary organizers: The 400 Foundation
The 400 Foundation, a moral movement for economic equality, was birthed in February 2019 as a historical acknowledgement of the 400th year since the end of Chattel Slavery in North America and a biblical response to the Exodus liberation story after 400 years of oppression. www.the400foundation.org
Harlem Business Alliance
Since its founding in 1980 the Harlem Business Alliance (HBA) has been a force of advocacy for the development and empowerment of Harlem’s small business community. HBA offers free one-on-one counseling services to aspiring entrepreneurs maneuvering through the start-up phase as well as to established small business owners. www.hbany.org
WEG is an alliance of Harlem based Black entrepreneurs formed in 2018 in an effort to level the playing field for Black business owners in NYC. WEG seeks to buck the trend by advocating for Black-owned businesses and identifying contract opportunities and Black entrepreneurs prepared to accept the opportunity. www.WEGNYC.org