A minority-owned business is an outfit that is at least 51% owned by an individual who identifies as Black, Hispanic, Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, or Native American. These businesses were hit hardest by the pandemic. A recent survey on small businesses reported that 53% of black business owners saw their revenue drop by half compared to 37% of white business owners.
This shows how minority-owned businesses got disproportionately affected by the changes in the economy. If you’re a minority who runs a business, here are a few tips you can use to help your business stay afloat.
Get MBE Certification
If your business is certified as a minority business enterprise (MBE), you get exclusive access to premium networking events, top corporate purchasing agents, technology programs, searchable supplier databases, and enjoy introductions to top corporations. In addition, certified companies have increased access to educational opportunities, loans, and training opportunities. You can take advantage of the opportunities and help your company survive tough economic times.
Utilize Funding Opportunities
Financing is critical for business survival. If you have a minority-owned business, there are many funding sources you can take advantage of. During the pandemic, PayPal announced a $5 million grant program for Black-owned businesses to help fight economic inequality and strengthen minority communities. Black-owned businesses that applied for the grant survived.
Banks and online lenders also started offering affordable loans, like rv title loans, to help black entrepreneurs get back on their feet fast. Those who got the loans were able to cover temporary cash flow gaps.
Apply for Available Resources
Even though your business might be small, there are many resources you can leverage to grow it. Check with your local chamber of commerce for available programs and resources that support minority-owned businesses. For instance, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) by the U.S. Department of Commerce provides access to grants and contracting opportunities for small businesses.
Utilize Google Resources
In 2020, Google led an initiative together with the US Black Chambers, Inc., known as #BlackOwnedFriday. The campaign was designed to encourage American consumers to support Black-owned businesses by shopping at their stores during the holiday season. You can use such campaigns to market your small business and improve its online presence.
Network with Other Minority Entrepreneurs
Running a new business can be quite challenging, and it’s even more challenging if you’re a minority. To strengthen your business connections and stay motivated about entrepreneurship, network with other minority entrepreneurs in the community. Networking gives you the opportunity to meet potential partners, investors, and customers.
Introduce New Products and Services
To survive these tough economic times, you have to be innovative. Study your target market and identify the in-demand products and services. The pandemic gave birth to many new business ideas and opportunities that could generate revenue for your business. Shift gears and start offering customers what they need–even if it means creating new products and services.
Minority-owned businesses are coming up every day. Although minority entrepreneurs encounter more challenges than white entrepreneurs, there are many opportunities specifically designed for their businesses. Follow these tips to ensure your business survives the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic challenges.