Black Americans comprise 11.9% of the U.S workforce, but make up 20.2% of unemployed workers. Now that there are even fewer resources, unemployed blacks can forget about assistance from Washington. The sequester means blacks must develop non-governmental solutions.
Small-business pessimism is consistent with the declining number of new jobs created in March. Although the unemployment rate fell in March from 7.7% to 7.6%, the decline was caused largely by almost one-half million fewer workers participating in the labor market.
The SBA made a commitment to increase lending through the 7a Program as a way of offsetting credit market tightening caused by the recession. Since that time, guaranteed loans to black-owned businesses have declined by 47%, while loans to Asian businesses increased by 21%.
Mobile broadband can reduce racial and ethnic inequalities because it makes it easier and cheaper for individuals in low-income communities to start and operate businesses. The technology also increases access to high-quality low-cost online education and healthcare services.
Small and minority businesses will be hurt doubly because a majority of the spending cuts are aimed at the Department of Defense and DOD accounts for over 50% of small and minority business contracting opportunities with the government. In addition, retail spending will be cut back.
The President and Congress are struggling to find ways to reduce the large number of unemployed workers, especially among African-Americans, and to a lesser extent, Latinos. The solution is easy – provide greater support to minority businesses.
Black, Latino, Asian and Native American businesses that operate in Internet publishing and broadcasting and telecommunications outperform minority businesses in almost all other industries.
During the second Presidential debate both candidates will talk about small businesses, but they should understand that the desires of businesses owned by African Americans Latinos, whites and women are not the same.
The Gazelle Index staff has three important questions for the Presidential debate it would like for the candidates to address. These questions reflect the perspectives of minority businesses and the interests of the minority community.