Organization Works To Help Black Owned Businesses Stay Afloat During Pandemic

CHARLOTTE, NC – Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to the pandemic, but it has been especially difficult for Black owned businesses.

For six years, Vania Bredy and her husband have been helping people with physical therapy.

“We kind of get in where we fit in so to speak. But we’ve been able to sustain business during the pandemic,” explained Bredy.

The Bredy’s relocated their private practice to Charlotte in 2020 because of its support for the Black business community.

“Charlotte does provide opportunities for you know black owned businesses and makes it more feasible for us to do what we would like to do,” said Bredy.

But the pandemic took a toll. Bredy says business came to a screeching halt. And relief funds and loans were hard to come by. They relied on personal savings to stay afloat.

“As a black owned business, capital is something that you don’t have and you have limited access to,” explained Bredy.

The pandemic forced about 20% of small businesses to close. That number nears 50% for Black owned businesses.

“Our mission is to drive business and to support black owned businesses and the community,” said Cathay Dawkins.

He is the founder of Black Business Owners of Charlotte.

The organization provides a support system and networking platform for Black entrepreneurs in the city.

“When you’re already disadvantaged as a culture and then you start a business, you’re already a step behind everybody else,” said Dawkins.

Kelli Jackson is the BBOC program manager. She says they remain positive despite businesses closing and work to help their members.

“It takes all of us in our community in order for it to grow and thrive and for us to have a cohesive existence all together,” explained Jackson.