Black business registrations in several states have shown that the number has “more than doubled” according to analysis by the New York Times.
In the month after the CARES Act was passed by Congress in March 2020, business registrations increased by 60%. Though the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to damage entrepreneurship and put many small businesses in a financial hole or out of business entirely, there are signs that many have turned to creating new businesses after losing employment elsewhere.
Andre Perry, a Brookings Institution fellow, told the New York Times that part of the surge in Black business registrations could be a signal of personal economic trouble.
“This is more about survival than it is about wealth creation. There’s lots of people who have lost their jobs and lost their businesses. People are starting to realize that side hustles are businesses,” Perry said.
Additionally, Google Trends data reported an “uptick in searches related to Black-owned businesses” in June of last year during the start of the pandemic. According to the data, searches for “How to find Black owned businesses in your area” saw a 300% spike; searches for “Black owned restaurants near me” tripled.
The app EatOkra, a guide to Black-owned restaurants, witnessed a 4,450% increase in downloads of new users in May 2020. Many believe that activism after the murder of George Floyd coupled with the pandemic spurred many to think about economic activism and Black-owned businesses.