Jay King, the CEO and President of the California Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC), has announced the launch of a special Covid-19 “Everybody Pitch In” GoFundMe campaign, to assist and save California-based small Black businesses. Even with the recent passage of the CARES Act, a $2 trillion-dollar Covid-19 stimulus bill, King is concerned that small Black enterprises will be overlooked. As the largest African American non-profit business organization, representing thousands of small and emerging businesses, affiliates and chambers of commerce throughout California, the CBCC is extremely concerned about the aftermath of Covid-19 which has immobilized and shut down businesses around the entire world.
California is a large and crucial market. With an estimated 42 million Blacks in the United States, there are 2.3 million in California. The California Black Chamber of Commerce has over 4,200 registered small businesses throughout the state. A large percentage of these businesses consist of sole proprietors who rely on their businesses’ income to survive. COVID-19 has had an unforgivable impact on this already marginalized and fragile, small Black business community. From the mom and pop eateries, barbershops and corner stores, to business professionals, the impact of this pandemic is projected to decimate this entire workforce.
“What many don’t realize is that Black spending power in California is $96 billion,” asserts King. “If this community is annihilated, so is the entire economy. We have to protect these businesses because they are absolutely an integral part of the state’s overall economic equation,” cites King. “Our office is already receiving calls from small business proprietors informing us that they are receiving rejection letters from their local municipalities and other agencies set up to give relief to small businesses. With our ‘Everybody Pitch In’ campaign, we hope to support micro businesses and small business owners who don’t qualify for the loan programs in the stimulus package.”