MANALAPAN, Fla. — More help is on the way to help minority-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic. A local organization is bringing together people this weekend in an effort for business owners to bounce back.
"We have a lot of pillars in the community. As far as we anchor the community in a lot of ways,” said Nicole Cummings, co-founder of Sophisticated Out Loud.
Sophisticated Out Loud is a business to business connection company. Cummings says it is important to have minority-owned businesses in South Florida. Her organization is hosting workshops this weekend at the EAU Palm Beach Resort & Spa, to help them navigate through the tough times.
"Minority-owned businesses, a little bit more difficult. Sometimes you don't have access to the information,” said Cummings. “So what we're trying to do is get them the information. Help them grow their business and get them connected with each other. It is very important for minority-owned businesses to connect and understand what's out there for them to make them successful."
According to a report by the House Committee on Small Business Committee —- between February and April of 2020, Black business ownership dropped more than 40%. The largest drop across any group. The report also found, the pandemic only added to long-standing inequalities and the difficulty to access to recovery resources.
Thais Sullivan, senior vice president and national director for community lending with Valley Bank will be at the workshops to provide insight on funding help. An ongoing effort to help.
"If we don't support our communities and the small businesses, I think we're going to see the loss,” said Sullivan. "Let's just say they've had a few bumps on the road, and I'm unable to get them approved for a loan with Valley, then I have my partners, the CDFI's and the non-for-profits in the community, that I can partner with to help them get loans."