Black founders will be getting a leg up this year according to new data about the Small Business Administration.
A report from Creative Investment Research shows the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program, is projected to lend Black firms and businesses $1 billion this year. This is a significant uptick from the $599 million the entity reported in 2017.
“Access to capital is the key that unlocks the door of economic empowerment and unleashes the true potential of entrepreneurs,” an SBA spokesperson said in response to the report per BLACK ENTERPRISE. “That’s why it is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration to improve equity within our lending programs, and strengthen direct outreach to historically underserved communities, including Black entrepreneurs.”
The data is welcome news since Black-owned businesses have continued to recoup what was lost during the pandemic.
As previously reported by ESSENCE, a 2021 CNBC Survey Monkey Small Business Survey, 15 percent of Black small-business owners had to temporarily shutter their business due to the pandemic. In comparison, 8 percent of White small-business owners reported taking the same action.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that small businesses in the U.S. dropped 22 percent between February 2020 and April 2020, but Black ownership dropped 41 percent—the greatest decline among all racial groups during the depths of the pandemic.
All of this is coupled with the systemic disadvantages Black business owners face due to structural racism. The SBA says they recognize and hopes to be a resource for those hwo need it most.
“The SBA also recognizes that supporting aspiring entrepreneurs has the potential to advance economic equality and growth in communities across our nation by growing their businesses, creating jobs, and building generational wealth.”