All across the country, people are staying inside as much as possible — and as a result, small businesses are seriously suffering.
In fact, when Main Street America polled nearly 6,000 small businesses in early April, they found that if economic disruptions continue for even two more months, more than 30 percent of those businesses would likely have to shutter their doors for good.
To counteract the negative effects that the health crisis has had on the economy, President Trump recently signed the CARES Act into law, which allocated $376 billion to American workers and small business owners. However, for many entrepreneurs — notably, minority business owners who don’t speak fluent English — the process of actually getting that money has proven difficult.
“I can read things online, but think about for all the business owners — think about all the ones you know — who do not have strong English as a second language,” nail salon owner Tuan Ngo explained to ABC News. “I went to college … how is everyone else dealing with all of this?”
On top of economic issues, minority groups are also disproportionately affected by the crisis. As reported by KRON4, a report from Mijente Support Committee found that Latinx individuals are dying at higher rates from coronavirus due to lack of healthcare access.
Given everything that’s going on, minority communities are struggling. The good news? In addition to practicing social distancing so things can return to normal as soon as possible, you can also shop locally and support organizations that are working to keep the economy — and specifically, minority-owned small businesses — afloat.
Below, we’ve highlighted some organizations and funds that are devoting their time and money specifically to Latinx-owned businesses and efforts. Keep reading to find out how they’re helping the Latinx community — and how you can get involved!
Street vendors have been hit especially hard by the national pandemic, seeing as they rely on foot traffic for business. As such, Los Angeles-based nonprofit Inclusive Action for the City recently launched the Street Vendor Emergency Fund on GoFundMe, which aims “to provide direct cash assistance to LA street vendors,” many of whom are Latinx immigrants.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting our communities, we quickly saw that all the data about income inequality was right: most people don’t have any savings to cover their household expenses in an emergency,” the organization explained on its GoFundMe page. “Many small businesses operate with only enough cash on hand to last them 27 days. We heard this loud and clear from the street vendors we’ve worked with for over a decade. Street vendors who participate in our micro-loan program and those that are involved in the LA Street Vendor Campaign saw their business revenue dissolve almost overnight.”
Inclusive Action for the City is aiming to raise $100,000 — and so far, it has already raised more than $65,000 in individual donations alone. Through the emergency fund, the organization will be able to provide street vendors with $400 each to pay their rent, buy groceries and provide for their families.
The Migrant Kitchen, co-owned by Latinx restauranter Daniel Dorado, is a social impact catering company with the sole mission of highlighting international cuisines and employing the immigrants whose backgrounds inspire it.
During the health crisis, the organization is providing free meals to impacted families and healthcare workers on the front line. Migrant Kitchen’s mission is to deliver 1,000 emergency meals a day. You can help them achieve this goal by donating via GoFundMe.
The COVID-19 Humanitarian Migrant Fund was set up to help migrant families impacted by Migrant Protection Protocols. As the fund’s page explains, these families are now “stuck in refugee camps and shelters in extremely precarious conditions without access to medical care and basic necessities.” All of the money raised by the Humanitarian Migrant Fund will be donated to Al Otro Lado and other organizations working to help immigrant refugees until the borders reopen.
If you can’t donate directly, buying from Latinx restaurants and shopping at Latinx-owned small businesses goes a long way. Every dollar spent will benefit the company, and you’ll get something in return: either a delicious meal or essential goods. If you’re trying to spend as little as possible, try to incorporate a catered weekly date night or family game night into your routine. Little acts of kindness go a long way!
If you enjoyed this story, find out how to help Chinatown businesses during the global crisis.
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