(UnitedVoice.com) – As the COVID-19 spread across America, so too did racism when Facebook and others promoted Black-owned businesses at the expense of others.
In all fairness, there is cause for alarm when it comes to Black-owned businesses. For example, the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that 41% of the companies owned by Blacks shut down due to COVID-19, even though they comprise only 3% of businesses in the US.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, reported similar figures, finding that the coronavirus shuttered nearly half a million Black-owned companies.
Facebook has systematically followed a program that will ultimately result in the exclusion of several needy demographics:
- In March 2020, Facebook launched a $100 million global grant program to assist businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
- In June 2020, Facebook announced the allocation of an additional $200 million in grants to support Black-owned companies and organizations in the US.
- On August 19, 2020, Facebook published a press release stating that they would set aside $40 million of that grant money to support majority Black-owned businesses with fewer than 50 employees located in the United States.
However, well-intentioned those programs may have been; there is no question that they exclude other groups of people.
Facebook’s Grant Programs Exclude Key Demographic Groups
The Brookings Institution estimated that about 4 million small businesses with employees face risks due to COVID-19. Additionally, higher-risk industries employ nearly 25% of US workers, or about 38.1 million out of 157.5 million.
When a company like Facebook fails to consider the full spectrum of demographics in the country, groups other than Blacks miss out on much-needed assistance.
For example, a 2020 Pew Research Center report showed whites own the vast majority of businesses — 72% of the companies in higher-risk industries and 80% overall. Asian entrepreneurs make up the second-largest group holding 16% of higher-risk companies and 10% overall.
Hispanics are next with 7% of the higher-risk businesses and 6% overall. Finally, Blacks come in last with 3% of the higher-risk businesses and 2% overall.
By pandering to Black-owned companies, Facebook has seemingly dismissed the plight of about 93% of the American businesses at the highest risk of collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic. And, that doesn’t seem right!
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