COVID-19: Impact on Black Businesses

From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins
There’s a saying that when White America catches a cold, Black America catches pneumonia.
The International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) will continue to monitor disparities during the COVID-19 epidemic and evaluate the impact of policies that will address major threats to the well-being of Black women.
This edition of our Coronavirus update will be focused on COVID-19’s impact on Black businesses. Many women on IBWPPI’s Board of Directors and within our membership body are small business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19. Black entrepreneurs employ a great number of Black workers, so it’s imperative that we take stock at the state of Black businesses and resources to support them.
You may ask, “how can I help?” This month, I encourage you to support a Black business by 1) following their social media pages and sharing their posts 2) buying a gift card, or 3) ordering their products or services online.
Lastly, please take a look at our recent Facebook Live that was co-sponsored by Sisters at the Well Inc. and IBWPPI. I will be hosting regular virtual chats focused on Black women’s care and collective healing. I urge you to be kind to yourself, focus on your emotional and physical health, and think about how you can support other women in your life. Make a goal to personally call a Black woman at least once a week. If you are doing anything to support or empower the general community during the pandemic, please email us . We’d love to spotlight your work.
Let us continue to uplift one another. We will get through this together.
In Peace,
Barbara A. Perkins, President

Our Gift to You: Free Membership

Nominate 1 person for a FREE membership to IBWPPI this month.  We want to open our arms to women just like you and welcome them in during this time of uncertainty. This offer is for first-time members only. Here is what you must do: 

Step 1: Nominate 1 person by emailing . Please share the individual’s name, email address and a brief description of their background.

Step 2: We will invite the nominee and ask them to confirm their membership within 5 business days.

Step 3: We will create a new member spotlight.

Black Business News Corner

Black Enterprise: Black Businesses Are Struggling To Adapt To The Coronavirus Crisis

 Yahoo: How Coronavirus Has Affected The Black Hair Business

Black Enterprise: How Coronavirus Is Disrupting the Supply Chain of This Black-Owned Business

City Labs: Black Businesses Left Behind in Covid-19 Relief

Employment and Small Business Resources


Find information gathered from various sources below for your use.

Questions about cash payments (Recovery Rebates)? This resource from the IRS answers questions from eligibility to how you can expect to receive your money and more. 

Questions about the new unemployment insurance provisions signed into law last week? This resource from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) breaks down the details.

Questions about student loan relief in recent legislation? This resource from The Institute for College Access and Success answers what loans are covered or not, what actions you need to take, etc. 

Questions about the small business provisions in the CARES Act? This resource  from the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship answers what is in the bill and how to access the benefits included. 

How to Get a Business Loan From the Federal Government Under the CARES Act Phase III Stimulus:  Small businesses can start applying for emergency loans to cover payroll and other costs through a number of SBA programs, including SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program or the  Paycheck Protection Program. The   Treasury Department  has information on every federal economic relief measure offered to businesses, including payroll assistance support for the airline industry, tax rebates for consumers, and ways to avoid scams when attempting to apply for any of the measures in the COVID-19 relief package. You can also check out this  Washington Post FAQ link  for further information.  

For small businesses seeking relief for COVID-19, click below to learn more about paych eck protection loans:


The application for borrowers.

Unemployment Numbers Soar to 6.6 Million Smashing Previous Record : The Department of Labor reported on April 2nd that jobless claims reached 6.6 million last week for people who filed for unemployment from March 22 to March 28. Read more here

Protecting Your Health

CDC May Urge Americans to Cover Faces in Public

The recommendation , if approved, would call for Americans to use cloth coverings instead of surgical and N95 masks, which have been in short supply at hospitals and medical facilities across the country. The CDC does not currently recommend that healthy people wear masks or coverings over their face, instead recommending that everyone engage in social distancing and stand at least six feet apart. Actress Regina King , star of HBO series Watchmen , models a homemade mask that is both functional and stylish.

Basic Guidance on How to Avoid Spread: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released some guidance on precautions that people can take to prevent the spread  of the virus. Safety precautions include disinfecting home and workspaces , staying home if you are sick, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. The Trump Administration is  recommending  that “all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home   when possible,   avoid gathering in groups of more than  10 people ,   avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food court.” This new guidance remains in effect until April 30, 2020 .

Lawmakers Call For Release or Racial Data on Who is Being Tested and Who Is Infected : Democratic lawmakers are calling out an apparent lack of racial data that they say is needed to monitor and address disparities in the national response to the coronavirus outbreak. In a letter sent Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley  said comprehensive demographic data on people who are tested or treated for the virus that causes COVID-19 does not exist. Over the weekend, cities with large black and nonwhite Hispanic populations emerged as new hot spots for the spread of the virus. Read more here.


School closures due to coronavirus have impacted at least 124,000 U.S. public and private schools and affected at least 55.1 million students. Click this
link to learn more.

There are at least 98,000 public schools and at least 34,000 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.


Home With Your Kids?  

  • Here is a list of resources available for you, organized by grade level
  • is offering lessons in different subjects like math, science and art for free thanks to UNICEF. Follow this link and type in the code “AOFLUNICEF.”
  • Scholastic Learn at Home is also offering their lessons for free. You can choose activities within from grade levels between PreK and 6+. These include read-along e-books and educational videos under their “Watch and learn Library.”

Global and National News COVID-19


U.N. Says Virus Threatens Global Stability: The United Nations warned on Wednesday that the unfolding battle against the coronavirus would lead to  “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict. ” As Americans prepare themselves for what President Trump said would be a “very, very painful two weeks,” the scale of the economic, political and societal fallout around the world came into ever greater focus. See more national and global news below. Read more here.


Global News

MSN: Africa racing the clock as Covid-19 spreads on the continent

Forbes: Five Ways That COVID-19 Has Changed What Food Insecurity Looks Like In The Caribbean

Miami Herald: A global shortage in key ingredient could affect coronavirus testing in Caribbean


National News

Essence: Black People Make Up Forty Percent Of COVID-19 Deaths In Michigan

Essence: A Green-Red New Deal Can Save Black Lives In A Post-COVID-19 World

 Afro: CBC Holds Telephone Town Hall to Address COVID Stimulus Package


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