The Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce published a new report this week. According to the report, banks and public policymakers should provide better help for Black-owned businesses. Canada’s Black business community faces systemic challenges. Suggested assistance would contribute to economic development. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed systemic problems and further intensified them.
The report finds that more than 1.2 million people of African Caribbean and Black descent cannot reach their full potential. CBCC president Christelle Francois stated: “Let’s just level the playing field and give people a fair chance to succeed and to thrive. It’s good for the business, it’s good for the people loaning the money, it’s good for our whole economy.”
The report provides exhaustive information regarding Canada’s Black business community and the challenges they face. According to Francois, a lack of data makes it impossible to see a clear picture Black business owners’ realities. It intended to provide baseline information on currents of the Black business community. Future research can dig in further and help the general public, as well as officials, to gain a better understanding.
The Chamber set up virtual town halls in each province and territory in both English and French. 53 businesses across the country took part in sessions. Participants answered 15 open-ended and 17 multiple-choice questions about their businesses. Results indicated that many respondents shared troubling trends regardless of the industry they were representing.
The report also included recommendations for fostering Canada’s Black business community that is facing systemic challenges. According to the report, nearly three-quarters of Black business owners said they raised money from their community or funded businesses themselves. They did not try borrowing money from a bank because many owners believe banks will deny their requests.
Although many entrepreneurs can rip benefits of mentorship opportunities, there are minimal options for Black business owners. The report suggests increasing the financial literacy gap and increase awareness of funding and support programs.