As you may have noticed, it’s a tough time out there for businesses, and a tougher time for businesses run by Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour. No one knows that better than Chidi Nwene because he talked to BIPOC-owned businesses to discuss their struggles in this third wave of the pandemic. What he learned was not necessarily surprising, but it still needs to be said.
Nwene literally went door-to-door to talk to business owners for a project he called “On the Streets of Guelph” and what he discovered about the immediate future of small businesses, especially the ones run by people from marginalized groups, is difficult to accept. While they might be able to survive the pandemic, they might not be able to rebuild their businesses and get to the supposed post-pandemic economic boom that’s coming.
Business and community are what Nwene is all about. Through his day job, he helps businesses diversify and work towards environmental sustainability, and when he’s not got his mind on business, he’s working as a community activist. Nwene has had a couple of different roles including a seat on the Community Grant Allocation Panel, and as Social Justice Co-ordinator for the Guelph EDA of the Green Party.
This week, Nwene will lend us his experience as he talks about the problems that BIPOC-run businesses are facing, and how those business owners are facing different challenges when compared to White businesses owners despite the same lockdown. He will also talk about what recovery might look like, and how many of those businesses might not be around long enough to enjoy it. And finally, Nwene will tell us about his work developing the social justice platform for the Green Party.
So let’s talk about the pandemic struggle for BIPOC businesses is the topic on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
If you would like to help out locally owned Black businesses, you can find a directory for local connections here, while the Guelph Market has a list of products created by BIPOC people, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce has a list of diversity and inclusion resources, which you can find here. Also, the #ChangeStartsNow Anti-Racism Summit takes place this weekend virtually.
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