Black small enterprise house owners are optimistic about 2021

A new Bank of America survey found that roughly half of black small business owners believe they will have more income this year, and a quarter say they are planning on hiring.

So far, 2021 hasn’t been that bad for Sherard Duvall, who heads OTR Media Group, a video production company in South Carolina. Much of his short film production work has dried up in the last year, so building and installing live streaming equipment has taken center stage.

So far, its sales have been where they were a year ago.

“I don’t want to speak too early so I’ll try to put this first quarter over with,” said Duvall. “If things go on like this, I’ll feel a little more comfortable until April.”

Now he’s hearing from some customers who left last year.

“A lot of these people come back and say, ‘Hey, we still want to do it, but we want to convert it for today’s climate,” said Duvall.

Over half of the entrepreneurs surveyed said they had to reinvent their businesses like Duvall.

AJ Barkley, director of neighborhood lending at Bank of America, said this explains why a quarter of black business owners say they want to hire more people.

“I mean, there were some who did restaurants and now, for example, catering,” Barkley said. “Do you have to hire now if you are catering? Probably more than in a restaurant. «

The survey found that more than half of black small business owners say their growth has been limited because it has been difficult to raise capital.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of business owners who said, ‘I’ve applied for an SBA loan in the past, I’ve been refused,” said Apollo Woods, founder of OKC Black Eats, an Oklahoma City restaurant marketing firm.

Woods said the current round of the paycheck protection program did a good job targeting businesses owned by colored people. But he said don’t forget that black business owners had a hard time getting credit in the first round.

“The trust isn’t there,” said Woods. “So you have to build that level of trust to get the business owner to give the energy and effort again to try.”

Many black-owned banks are trying to fill this void. Robert James II of Carver State Bank in Savannah, Georgia, said his bank hired to try this.

“We need people who can help us cut the bushes and find the great credit opportunities so we can get the capital out,” said James.

The Bank of America survey also found that over 80% of black business owners said they had to work harder to achieve the same level of success.

Does offering vaccination incentives work for employees?

These incentives range from scholarships and additional payments to gift cards and free time. However, there is much debate among behavioral economists about whether incentives work and what unintended consequences it could have. For many companies, incentives are a first step in encouraging employees to get the vaccine, even if there is a precedent in which they will need it. However, the rewards of vaccinations remain legally murky.

What if some aid money is not spent?

Depending on how you count it, the federal government has so far provided about $ 4 trillion in pandemic-related relief, from loans to tax cuts to new spending. However, Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President of the Committee on Responsible Federal Budget, said: “There is still a lot of money in the pipeline.” Any remaining PPP money is in an account. But other issues, like unemployment, are more like Congress, which says, “We’ll spend it if we have to.” But whether this or that program spends all that was expected is a very different argument from the total needs of the economy.

How should companies compensate their employees for work-from-home costs?

A new survey by compensation software and data company PayScale found that fewer than 25% of companies gave grants to employees who worked from home in the past year. As companies do a certain amount of work from home on a permanent basis, they need to think carefully about their compensation policies as it can be difficult to figure out scholarships, said Shelly Holt, chief people officer at PayScale. A study by the University of Washington also found that around 75% of Americans cannot work entirely from home. People who work in healthcare and grocery stores, among other things.

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