Trends in the COVID 19 And Black Lives Matter Environment

Black man reading newspapeer
Photo by: Adeolu Eletu

The National Black MBA Association  launched an NBMBAA COVID-19 Relief Fund to support the Black community which has been severely and disproportionately affected by the disease and its wide-ranging repercussions. The fund will provide the following support:

  • Emergency student funding, including for basic needs, educational expenses and technology requirements necessitated by virtual learning.
  • Certification funding to provide skill development for displaced members and students.
  • Small business support, including training and assistance in gaining access to funding and resources to aid business reopening, employment and stabilization.
  • Funding for community-based organizations that face increasing demands in meeting basic human needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The National Black MBA® says it is looking for support from corporations, foundations, and individuals for its COVID-19 Relief Fund. Donations may be made at nbmbaa.org/donate. For more information, contact Renee Foster at renee.foster@nbmbaa.org, or call 404-260-0178.

Working Parent Scholarship
August 15 is the deadline to apply for the next round of Job-Applications.com’s national Working Parent Scholarship. Job-Applications.com created the $1,000 Working Parent Scholarship in 2013 to help working parents obtain a better education and build a career. Applicants submit a 600- to 1,000-word essay on how to successfully balance parenthood, working and excelling in school. The winner is expected to be determined by August 31. Details and application instructions for the upcoming national scholarship can be found here: https://www.job-applications.com/scholarships/

Investing in Minority Businesses
IMB Partners, a private equity firm focused on building large minority-business enterprises of scale, made a growth equity investment in Ashburn Consulting LLC, a leading Northern Virginia information technology consulting firm that specializes in providing network engineering and cybersecurity solutions to federal, state and local governments and commercial clients.

The Ashburn investment expands IMB’s presence in the government IT services sector and builds on its experience with e&e, a provider of quality IT services to government and corporate clients across Pennsylvania and Florida, which IMB acquired in 2014. While the private equity markets have shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, IMB remains very active “given the resiliency of electric and gas utility services and government contracting, IMB’s focus sectors,” CEO Tarrus Richardson says. Founded in 2010, IMB Partners seeks platform investment targets with $5 million to $25 million in EBITDA and will go as low as $1 million in EBITDA for add-on investments. For more information, go to imbpartners.com, or connect with IMB on LinkedIn.

Data Report on Black Business Owners and COVID-19
Hello Alice, a nationwide network of entrepreneurs dedicated to helping businesses launch and grow, released the report, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Business Owners.” In partnership with Black and Brown Founders, digitalundivided, and DivInc, Hello Alice collected and compiled demographic information, funding requirements, and operational challenges from more than 28,985 Black owners who applied for Hello Alice’s $10,000 COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants. The report highlights the following:

  • 69 percent of Black applicants for COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants identify as women.
  • The overwhelming majority of Black business owners, nearly three out of four, reported they needed emergency funding immediately in order to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 92 percent of Black applicants are calling on the government to step up and give them access to more emergency grants, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.
  • For 37 percent of Black-owned businesses that applied for funding, this amount of funding would mean business survival after COVID-19.
  • 68 percent of Black applicants said that lost sales was their biggest hurdle during this time of social distancing.
  • When owners were answering these questions, they did not anticipate COVID-19 affecting their businesses for more than four months. Additionally, the Payment Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help owners for only two and a half months.
  • 36 percent of Black business owners stated that raising capital and finding a loan was their biggest challenge.

Research conducted by Global Strategy Group shows slightly more than one in five Black small business owners reported temporarily closing operations due to the pandemic. Analysis from Hello Alice’s report shows that the economic damage is just beginning and will continue to intensify, specifically and disproportionately hurting Black-owned businesses. The full report is available at blackbiz.helloalice.com.

Gifts to HBCUs
Six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are among beneficiaries of $1.7 billion donated to charity by MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the world’s third richest woman. The six are Howard University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Hampton University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Tuskegee University. In formal statements, Howard University disclosed that it received $40 million; Hampton University said it received $30 million; and Tuskegee University said it received $20 million. Morehouse revealed only that it received an “eight-figure gift” from Scott, while Xavier University acknowledged that it had received a massive $20 million gift from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Spelman acknowledged the gift from Scott but did not disclose the amount.

Diaspora Cultural Partnership
REVOLT TV, a leading voice of Hip Hop culture owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs, announced a new half-hour unscripted series exploring all aspects of Hip Hop culture in Africa, from emerging artists to fashion, sports, entrepreneurship, events and parties, and more. The new program, titled “What’s Good Africa,” comes via a new content partnership between REVOLT and What’s Good Networks and its award-winning sister production company, What’s Good Studios, in Nairobi, Kenya. The ten-episode series is slated to debut on REVOLT on August 12th, 2020 at 9:30 p.m., EST.

In Africa, the program is airing on NTV Kenya; in Tanzania via Azam TV; and in Uganda via DSTV. The first season is billed the “Kenya Edition.” What’s Good Studios, which produces popular TV series, podcasts, docuseries, and commercials for international audiences, plans to focus on other African countries in future seasons.

The partnership underscores REVOLT’s push into the global arena. What’s Good Networks, located in Los Angeles, California, collaborates with Africa’s leading content creators to produce dynamic and compelling stories for multicultural audiences. REVOLT is available on DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse TV, Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink, Altice/Suddenlink, Frontier Communications, Comporium and Cincinnati Bell, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom, Hotwire, as well as OTT platforms AT&TV Now, Sling TV, Fubo TV and Philo TV. REVOLT is also available internationally in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, Anguilla, Monserrat, Bermuda, Aruba, St. Maarten’s, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S.Virgin Islands.

Growing Support for Reparations
Most Americans now support reparations for Black people, according to a poll released by Democracy in Color and Civiqs. Civiqs surveyed 1,546 adults in the United States from July 8 to July 10, 2020. It found that support for the H.R. 40 bill, which has been introduced in the House of Representatives for 41 years and seeks to establish a commission to study the effects of slavery and ongoing discrimination on Black Americans and explore remedies, including reparations, increased significantly across the racial demographics studied over the past year. For Black Americans support increased from 65 percent to 84 percent; for Hispanic Americans, from 37 percent to 67 percent; and for white Americans, from 23 percent to 39 percent.

In other findings, 50 percent of respondents want Congress to establish a reparations commission to study the legacy of slavery and persistent systemic discrimination against living Black people, up from 31 percent last year; 56 percent think the U.S. Congress is “doing too little” to address racial inequality in the United States, including 46 percent of white respondents; 49 percent believe the impact of slavery and ongoing discrimination is a major factor in lower levels of wealth for Black people in the U.S.; 79 percent believe racial and ethnic discrimination is a problem in the United States; and 53 percent believe when it comes to giving Black people equal rights with whites, that our country has not gone far enough.