The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for U.S. small businesses, with many experiencing dramatic declines in revenues and cash liquidity following the government-mandated closures that began in March. The effects of the economic downturn have been especially severe for Black-owned businesses— many of which entered this crisis under-capitalized.
As a step towards helping black-owned businesses recover and move forward, a coalition of four business advocacy groups— the National Minority Supplier Development Council, US Black Chambers, National Urban League and Black Enterprise— have partnered with JPMorgan Chase to launch Advancing Black Entrepreneurs by Chase for Business. Together with Chase Business Banking, these organizations have developed an educational curriculum designed specifically for eligible black entrepreneurs on key topics that are vital to business growth and sustainability.
Experts from the four business advocacy groups will administer a series of 90-minute virtual sessions to participating entrepreneurs at no cost. The first session focuses on how business owners can address immediate financial needs and build resiliency in the age of coronavirus. Participating entrepreneurs will receive free instruction on a variety of topics— including how to protect cash flow, reduce expenses, maintain vendor relationships, collect outstanding revenues, and manage inventory and other assets.
"How businesses adapt, innovate and plan for the future will determine their future survival— and we're committed to helping as many black entrepreneurs as we can navigate this path," said Christopher Hollins, Managing Director of Chase Business Banking. "The businesses that will be best positioned to thrive after this crisis are those that have managed cash flows effectively, pivoted business models where necessary, and strengthened ties to their communities while keeping employees and customers safe."
Black-owned businesses experienced a 26% decline in cash balances in March compared to the prior year,2 according to the JPMorgan Chase Institute, and could require more recovery assistance than others due to severe revenue shocks in recent months.
Participating entrepreneurs will also receive instruction on how to reimagine their businesses if necessary— with insights into how to build more flexibility into supply chains, develop an online presence, revisit staffing models, and a primer on accounting best practices for new grants or loans they may have recently received. In addition, the course will provide insights into how to manage banking relationships in this environment.
Here's what the advocacy groups had to say about this initiative:
"Black entrepreneurs play a vital role in the economic health of black communities, and it is critical that we equip them with the necessary tools and insights at this time," said Adrienne Trimble, President and CEO of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. "We're looking forward to working with the coalition and Chase Business Banking to position black-owned businesses for success and prepare them for life after the crisis."
"Although we're certainly in a difficult economic environment, there are countless examples of businesses that are finding a way to move forward, and it's important that we share these stories and provide a roadmap for black entrepreneurs," said Ron Busby, the President and CEO of US Black Chambers. "Together with the coalition and Chase Business Banking, we will deliver timely, actionable content to an audience that needs it on a mass scale."
"Black-owned businesses are a pillar of our communities, and we must be intentional about connecting them to crucial resources like the Advancing Black Entrepreneurs initiative in this time of crisis," said Marc Morial, the President and CEO of the National Urban League. "If we don't act now in a meaningful way, we're facing a real risk of seeing the racial wealth gap accelerate at an even faster rate."
"It is important that we connect black business owners to insights, mentorship and resources during this time of crisis to help them not just survive, but to position them for life beyond the crisis," said Derek Dingle, Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer at Black Enterprise. "Advancing Black Entrepreneurs is about helping black entrepreneurs create sustainable models for growth, and position them for continued job creation within the communities they serve."
1 Source: JPMorgan Chase Institute, "Small Businesses in Black and Hispanic Communities Have Lower Profitability and Cash Liquidity than Businesses in White Communities." 9/30/2019 2 Source: JPMorgan Chase Institute, "Small Business Financial Outcomes during the Onset of COVID-19." 6/2020
Curated from yahoo finance
To find out more about this program visit www.jpmorganchase.com