LONG BEACH, Calif. — Research from the University of California, Santa Cruz shows minority-owned businesses are being hit especially hard during the pandemic.
The number of active business owners in the United States dropped 22 percent from February to April 2020. The number of African-American-owned businesses dropped 41 percent.
Takisha Clark owns Capital Postal & Mailbox Service in Long Beach and doesn’t want to become part of this statistic.
“We’re just focused on keeping it pushing and doing what we have to do in this trying time at the moment,” said Clark.
Clark's business offers services like P.O. boxes, shipping, notary public, and live scanning. Now they’re adding more services to make up for lost business. The widely-reported United States Postal Service slowdown directly impacts Clark’s bottom line in a big way.
“Well it’s very frustrating sometimes, but you know, we just work through it,” said Clark.
Clark has gotten used to setbacks. Her front windows were shattered and her security gate ripped from its track during the recent protests that consumed the entire country in response to the death of George Floyd.
“For them to come out and loot and break windows and try to break into my store, of course I have mixed feelings about everything,” said Clark.
Yet there’s a silver lining. With renewed vigor behind the Black Lives Matter movement, Clark said it has put Black-owned businesses like hers in the limelight, bringing much needed assistance and funding resources.
For this self-made, single mother of two, it’s not always easy to accept help. “The reason why I say that I am very confident is because I don’t rely on no one. I rely on Jesus Christ,” said Clark.
Clark has a message for business owners who look like her. “Just work hard and don’t give up. Keep the faith and we’re going to push through this,” said Clark.