AUSTIN, Texas — Experts say Black business owners have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
On the brink of closing her own doors, one entrepreneur is pleading for Central Texans to support Black-owned businesses, especially right now.
When India Phillips opened ILY Nails & Beauty Bar, she faced many hurdles, beginning with February’s winter storm.
“So, we opened right before ‘SNOWVID’ and we had to close three days after we opened because ‘SNOWVID’ hit,” Phillips said.
Then she had to deal with supply shortages.
“We did not have some of our equipment for almost four to five months after we opened, just because of the pandemic,” Phillips said.
Now, her nail salon is at risk, but she hopes to garner the financial support she needs to keep her doors open.
“I’ve been putting out more money than we’ve actually been bringing in,” Phillips shared.
A study from H&R Block found more than half of Black-owned small businesses experienced at least a 50% decrease in revenue during the pandemic compared to only 37% among white business owners.
“We need this space just as much as the community needs this space,” said Asia Anderson, nail tech at ILY Nails & Beauty Bar.
Phillips and her team don’t want to be a statistic.
“We need to generate wealth in our community, which means that, that means buying Black,” Phillips explained.
Dr. Rob Tenant is a finance and economics expert.
“It’s always difficult for small businesses to thrive, because they don’t have the buying power of large businesses,” Dr. Tenant explained.
The A&M-Central Texas accounting professor says Black-owned businesses were hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Businesses that are minority owned by people under the age of 35 have the most difficult access to funding,” Dr. Tenant said. “They are the most at risk of closing within their first three years of opening.”
So far, people have backed Phillips’ call to action by booking appointments and donating.
“We are asking the community to help us as much as you guys can,” Phillips said.
Phillips hopes that support continues, so she can continue to stick around.