The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected minority-owned small businesses because they are likely to be concentrated in industries most immediately devastated by the pandemic like accommodation, food services, personal and laundry services, and retail. Moreover, minority-owned small businesses tend to face underlying issues that make it harder to run a profitable business including a limited line of credit, lack of banking relationships, and low cash reserves. According to the Census Current Population Survey, the number of active businesses owned by African-Americans has dropped by 41%, Latinx by 32%, Asians by 25%, and immigrants by 36%.
I photographed and interviewed two dozens of minority-owned small businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated lockdowns. Most of them are located in underserved neighborhoods of Sacramento including Oak Park, Stockton Blvd., South Sacramento, Broadway, Del Paso, and North Sacramento that have been long established and play an important role in their community. The purpose of this project is to convey many challenges and hardships that minority-owned small businesses are facing during the pandemic, to provide a platform for minority-owned small businesses to voice their concerns, to highlight their contribution to the community, and to better understand how to provide support to minority-owned small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.