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Minority Businesses in Florida Prove Resilient

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Minorities have been among the most battered groups during the pandemic. Fortunately, the economic recovery has helped assuage some of their concerns.

Minorities throughout Florida should see a strong resurgence in revenue, especially as concerned citizens begin to patronize minority-owned businesses out of a sense of camaraderie for those that have been hammered by the COVID-19 economic downturn.

Communities throughout Florida recognize the benefits minority business owners have brought, as well as the unfortunate challenges they have struggled with over the years. They are also benefiting from services like Tell-Shop, which helps people connect with minority business owners throughout the country.

Orlando ran an event on June 19th to help inspire young black-owned business owners. Older minorities talked about the state of their businesses and the importance of younger generations starting their own companies. They emphasized the triumphs that younger minorities can experience if they choose a career in entrepreneurship.

Joshua Johnson, the owner of Seana’s Caribbean and Soul Food Restaurant, praised the event and said it should help make the transition to true equality.

“We just need a chance to show that we are just like any other business. We never go somewhere and say that’s a white business because it’s so normal so I really want it to get to a point where someone sees a Black business and its normal so that’s why Juneteenth, and creating awareness for more Black business, it moves us to that point,” Johnson said.

The city of Orlando is not alone in promoting black-owned business owners. Amazon recently created an accelerator program for minority-owned businesses. This program has been made available to South Florida and a few other communities throughout the country.

How Minority Business Owners Can Thrive in Florida

If you are a minority or a person of color, you are in good company, as minority-owned businesses are growing at a faster rate than businesses overall in the United States. In 2012, minority entrepreneurs owned 8 million or 29% of the 26.7 million businesses.

Unfortunately, despite the entrepreneurial spirit possessed by so many minorities and their overall success rate, many people of color still find it difficult to get their businesses off the ground. According to a recent Forbes study, minority entrepreneurs usually encounter higher borrowing costs, receive smaller loans and have their loan applications rejected more frequently than white business owners.

Also, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) indicates that while minority-owned businesses account for 29% of businesses and only 11% have paid employees. Things have been harder for everyone as some business owners are considering bankruptcy.

While this may seem daunting, it shouldn’t stop minorities from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. Although they may face additional obstacles, they also have a wealth of resources at their disposal to help you reach your goals. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look. Some of the available resources for minority business owners are listed below.

MBDA

The MBDA is dedicated exclusively to the advancement and success of minority-owned businesses. This government agency was established in 1969, so with nearly 50 years of experience, it’s well-positioned to provide these entrepreneurs with the right guidance. In fact, in 2012, MBDA helped minority entrepreneurs obtain more than $3.6 million in equity and contract awards.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers extensive services, including management and technical assistance, training and education, as well as help in accessing markets and capital, and more specifically special programs aimed at helping women and minority-owned businesses. There are SBA offices in Miami, Jacksonville and many other parts of Florida.

SCORE

Another nonprofit organization is SCORE, which is comprised of volunteer business professionals who serve as mentors, offering education, training and guidance. In addition, SCORE offers true mentoring, as its volunteers work closely, one-on-one or in small groups with their entrepreneurs. While SCORE’s services are available to all small business owners, they do have a strong focus on minority businesses, including classes, seminars and resources that offer assistance in establishing and managing your small business.

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