Owners of Syracuse's Black-owned businesses tell how they carried on and advocated for support during the pandemic.
lack-owned businesses were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which reported that by mid-April, business dropped by 40%.
For restaurant owner Phyllis Moore of Joe’s to Go, located a few blocks west of downtown Syracuse, her business was cut in half.
“Fortunately, we did not have to close,” she said, noting the primarily takeout shop was already understaffed. “Had we been fully staffed, we would have had to lay off.”
In a local intake survey conducted by the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance (UMEA), 85% of respondents said their businesses were affected by the pandemic.
Even before the pandemic, Black-owned businesses were suffering a lack of access to capital as a result of inherent biases, said Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling, executive director of the UMEA.