By Lakshmi Gandhi
A group of African American bar and restaurant owners in Boston say that more needs to be done to connect small business owners with the resources and loans needed to survive COVID-19 related closures. The newly formed Boston Black Hospitality Coalition says the city’s Black-owned businesses are experiencing a “state of emergency” and that without immediate support, there is a chance that every Black-owned restaurant in the city will have to permanently shut its doors.
Experts say the situation in Boston’s restaurant scene is indicative of the experiences of business owners of color nationwide.
“A small restaurant in Boston is different from Shake Shack or Ruth’s Chris, which both got [Paycheck Protection Program] loans. For restaurant owners and a lot of small businesses that are women of color-owned, the profit margin is very thin,” Nicole Mason, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), told Supermajority News. “So when you go a month or two months without revenue, that has a really swift impact on your ability to stay afloat.”