ATLANTA - The coronavirus is notorious for drying up businesses, but a new survey found 75% of Black owned business owners have seen an increase in sales since the beginning of the summer.
The National Black Chamber of Commerce and Groupon surveyed hundreds of Black business owners. That report found only five percent of them received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, and despite the grim numbers, many of them stayed afloat.
Unemployment numbers continue to rise, and in June, a University of California Santa Cruz report estimated 40% of Black owned businesses wouldn’t see the other side of the pandemic.
Local Green Atlanta, overflows with orders and is known as a little oasis in the Vine City neighborhood, which is a food desert.
Operations Manager Joseph Ware says the vegan diet friendly restaurant is doing fine.
"We’ve actually been doing really well," he said. "We've had an exponential growth, I'd say."
A new National Black Chamber of Commerce and Groupon Survey indicates this is trend.
About 300 of the 400 Black owned businesses surveyed said they’ve seen an increase in sales since the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others sparked protests.
Ware credits Local Green’s success to its strong reputation as a trusted source for nourishing food, not because of an increased effort to support Black businesses on the heels of a racially charged summer.
Ware says management didn’t hesitate to pivot when COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry.
"People know they can come to us and we’re being safe," he told FOX5's Alex Whittler.
Atlanta real estate agent Cortney Newmans says things have been twice as good for his business, Sherry Ann homes, this year.
He says it’s likely because of a combination of low interest rates during the pandemic and young professionals of color seeking out like-minded realtors.
"Usually when people say 'hey, you're renovatin, revitalizing and gentrifying neighborhoods and maybe selling to people of a different ethnicity,' but to see our people coming in and buying those homes, and putting their money back to the community, it really made my heart warm for sure," Newmans said
There are no customers inside Local Green, and Newmans keeps clients at a distance, but the coronavirus hasn’t crippled either Black owned business.
August is national Black business month and the survey also revealed there is now a greater push for advocacy of Black owned businesses, in large part because so many of them- 95%- were denied PPP loans.