The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be catastrophic for many businesses throughout the country, but statistically, it was far more detrimental to those owned by blacks than those owned by whites. According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 41% of the businesses that shut down between February and April of this year were Black-owned, as compared to 17% of those which were White-owned.
This unfortunate reality is something that Facebook is avidly trying to combat.
Starting October 30 and running through Black Friday on November 27, Facebook will be launching its #BuyBlack initiative, which will provide resources and support for minority entrepreneurs. Speaking on behalf of the company, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO said: "Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic... But we know that millions of people want to help."
In addition to spotlighting Black-owned businesses, Facebook also announced in June that it would devote $100 million in support, with the goal of spending $1 billion in support next year. "In August the company launched a $40 million grant program for Black-owned businesses, and new user features include an option on the Businesses Nearby tool for companies to self-designate as Black-owned."
With many business owners struggling to stay open during the pandemic, the reality of racial inequalities only served to exacerbate the existing problem. Thankfully organizations such as Facebook have not only taken the time to acknowledge these inequalities, but have also devoted resources to affect change.