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Biden Campaign Highlights Black-Owned Businesses Hit Hard During Pandemic

a Black business owner holding open sign standing in front of door.
Adobe Stock
a Black business owner holding open sign standing in front of door.

Some Black small business owners say they feel they’ve been given little help during the global pandemic. During a roundtable on the discussion held by the Biden campaign, one local owner shared her hardships.

Arlene Williams has owned her own Barbeque & Grille restaurant in Pensacola since 2007.

“I’ve been through the recession, the depression, the oil spill you name it," said Williams.

She made it through those times but says the global pandemic has hit her harder.

“It’s so depressing that to keep the lights on here the gas here I’m doing Door Dash, Uber Eats, Postmates you name it I’m doing it," said Williams. "Just to keep a roof not just my business but myself as my home.

Former Rep. Allan Williams (D-Tallahassee) who hosted the discussion says the number of Black businesses dropped from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.