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Minority-owned small businesses adapting, optimistic

Minority-owned small businesses adapting, optimistic

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It’s not surprising that many small businesses are struggling to maintain operations, earn profits and sustain their work forces in the wake of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many minorities who own small businesses across the U.S. remain more optimistic about the future than their non-diverse counterparts, though they acknowledge a need for greater support from the government from their communities and from the private sector.

Those were some of the findings of the nationwide Small Business Mindshift 2020 survey recently completed by Union Bank, a financial institution that’s been serving businesses for more than 155 years.

The survey determined that in the U.S., 34% of minority small-business owners (SBOs) can “see a path forward” for future business success and survival despite COVID-19.

In comparison, only 20% of non-diverse SBOs are predicting such outcomes. Minority SBOs have also been comparatively more proactive than their peers in forming new strategies to cope with pandemic-imposed changes. In fact, 24% believe COVID-19 has had a positive effect on their businesses, compared to just 12% of non-diverse SBOs. Minority SBOs include those owned by Black, Latinx and Asian respondents.

“These survey findings reinforce what we already know — minority small businesses have always worked hard despite difficult circumstances or external environments — and as a result, have consistently been more resilient and adaptable,” said Frank Robinson, Diverse Markets and Community-Based Programs Executive for Union Bank.

“Minority small businesses are at the heart and soul of their local communities, and as such, we are committed to helping them recover and thrive by providing them added support through critical economic stability and the tools necessary to succeed moving forward.”

U.S. minority SBOs are better at adapting their business strategies, the study shows. In general, U.S. minority SBOs have shown significantly more innovation than others when it comes to adjusting business practices to stay afloat; 52% have altered products or services, 50% have changed online retail options and 47% have switched their online advertising messaging.

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