I checked my inbox, and there it was a notification from the SBA that my EIDL application is currently being processed; however, this does not mean I will be awarded, but I am hopeful.
I cannot help but think about all of the black-owned businesses who did not get an identical email to offer them a glimmer of hope for their companies that has been brought to its knees due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the self-quarantined status.
"Businesses of color employ more than 8.7 million Americans and generate more than $1.38 trillion to the overall economy." Essence Many of my black-owned business counterparts, could not apply for the PPP or the SBA EIDL early due to them not having bank relationships or not being able to get help to navigate through the loan process. I have a dear friend who, unfortunately, ran into this problem when trying to apply for the many opportunities that were at her fingertips.
In July 2019, she took the plunge to come out of her home and into an office space with her wedding planning business with one employee. Her business was flourishing, and then Covid-19 hit, and just like that, she was shut down. Weddings were being canceled or moved to next year, and the little that she had in savings dried up very quickly, so when the government said the hope was on the way, she was excited to learn of the impended hope. Then the reality hit the requirements, which she did not meet. She had been located in other places, and nothing but an LLC was required, and needless to say, she thought nothing of it when no one asked her for the proof of business operations. She missed out on a local grant opportunity because she did not have a business bank account, nor did she have the necessary local licenses and zoning permits that were needed to operate a business in that city. She ran around for the next three days to get all that the grant and the awarding city required to be told on the last day of submission that all of the money had run out. She was furious and disappointed in herself at the same time.
I can imagine that there may be more black business owners in the same position. One thing I admired that she did was that she did not soak in the moment, but she came to the conclusion that she is ready and applied for the second round of the PPP loan.
If you are starting or in business, make sure that you have a business bank account. Research your community requirements for licensing and zoning. Produce and implement a business plan. Position your self to hire at least one employee. If accounting is not an area that you can handle hire one, and spread your experiences with the next generation of entrepreneurs that you know.