2020 has been a year that has brought many lessons, with one of the most important being the value small businesses bring to our local communities. Small businesses everywhere, especially here in Orlando, have been impacted by the pandemic, but Black-owned businesses have seen the most extraordinary setbacks.
As millions of small business owners applied for PPP (Payment Protection Program), a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pointed to the significant and disproportionate distribution of funds for Black-owned businesses. This same study found that Black firms were financially disadvantaged at the onset of Covid-19 with weaker cash positions, weaker bank relationships and pre-existing funding gaps. It is vital to support local Black-owned businesses and demand the next round of economic relief be expanded to not preclude these businesses.
At Black Business Orlando (BBO), we are working to help sustain the life of Black-owned businesses in Orlando amidst the pandemic and social unrest, and set them up to thrive for the future by providing resources, information and advocating on their behalf.
Born out of a Facebook group in 2014, BBO was created with the desire to change the landscape of Black business in Orlando. What originated as a forum for Black business owners to connect and promote their endeavors has grown to 21,000-plus members pushing forward opportunities for Black and minority business owners. BBO has become a place for hope, encouragement and a reminder to the community to support local Black-owned businesses.
Think of the Black Wall Street of yesterday where our people had everything they needed and everything they were interested in at their fingertips. A place where we can build up and support our people in many different ways. UALE.COM connects the businesses, the interests, the culture that is all us…by us. These are the perfect times! The time is NOW!