BUSINESS + ECONOMY
Mountain America Credit Union and Utah Black Chamber will giveaway $22,500 in grants
SALT LAKE CITY — On October 7, 2022, Mountain America Credit Union and the Utah Black Chamber launched a 15-month grant giveaway program. The program will award 45 Utah Black Chamber entrepreneurs with $500 grants.
The giveaway program aims to support Black-owned businesses and business startups within our Utah community.
For the next 15 months, on the first Friday of each month, three Utah Black Chamber members are randomly chosen to receive grants. However, to be eligible members must attend the chamber’s “First Fridays.” Once selected, members will have the opportunity to showcase their business at the following Utah Black Chamber “First Friday.”
Are Black-owned businesses at a disadvantage compared to white-owned?
The Brookings Institution reports in 2019, out of around 6 million employer firms, 134,567 were Black-owned. African-Americans make up about 13.6% of the total U.S. population, but only 2.3% of all employer firms in the United States.
As for white-owned employer firms, they make up 83.5% of total employer firms in the U.S., which is 8.2% higher than the white share of the U.S. population.
In the Salt Lake City Utah Metro Area, Brookings Institution says 58 businesses are Black-owned, accounting for 0% of employer firms in the area.
What if Black-owned businesses reached parity with all businesses in Utah? If that were the case, there should be 738 more Black businesses in the SLC Metro Area, which would then account for 2.8% of employer firms (equivalent to the Black Utah population).
If the Salt Lake City Utah Metro Area matched the number of Black Businesses with population size and the number of employees per firm, around 17,000 jobs would be created.
“No metro area in the U.S. has a share of Black-owned employer firms that matches or exceeds the Black population in the area, ” says the Brookings Institution.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you to support Black-owned businesses, the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 Small Business Credit Survey says they were hit the hardest during the pandemic.
Black business owners, 92%, reported the highest rates of financial hardship during the pandemic.
When researching what racial group was most likely to tap into personal funds during the pandemic, SBCS found African-Americans were at the forefront. “Black business owners were the most likely to tap into their personal funds (74%), compared to Latino or Hispanic owners (65%), Asian American owners (65%), and white owners (61%),” says the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 survey findings.
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