Baton Rouge, La. (June 25, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today launched a survey to assess the economic impact of COVID-19 on Black-owned businesses in the Capital Region, and to help identify barriers to recovery. The survey link is available directly here, and is housed on brac.org/recovery.

Data of COVID-19’s economic impact on Black-owned businesses, specifically, does not exist at a regional or national level; however, the survey is modeled on the U.S. Census Bureau’s weekly Small Business Pulse Survey, which will allow BRAC and its partners to compare regional data to a national small business norm. Responses are anonymous, and will allow BRAC to work to address the barriers to Black-owned business recovery and to uncover disparate impacts of the Stay at Home orders and restrictions.

“This survey is geared toward establishing a better understanding of the current state of Black-owned businesses in our area, and proactively identifying barriers to economic recovery,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “We know, for example, that minority owned businesses have not applied for federal relief funding at rates equivalent to White-owned businesses. We need to know what the specific challenges are, so that we can recommend and implement specific solutions. Meaningful progress around economic inclusion and recovery relies a good deal on meaningful data.”

As a reminder, applications for the federal Paycheck Protection Program will close on Tuesday, June 30. National data indicates that Black-owned businesses are underrepresented in the current application pool. Black-owned businesses in need of assistance connecting with a lender to complete an application may contact BRAC at info@brac.org.

To learn more about BRAC’s commitment to economic inclusion, click here.

BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources and guidance related to COVID-19.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.

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