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DC community steps up to support Black-owned businesses amid coronavirus pandemic

77% of Black-owned businesses describe their financial condition as 'fair' or 'poor'

The Washington, D.C., community is stepping up to support Black-owned businesses that have been pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic, subsequent economic recession and social unrest over the past year.

According to a recent Federal Reserve survey, 77% of Black-owned businesses described their financial condition as "fair" or "poor," compared to 54% of White-owned businesses.


Luckily, loyal customers are helping to ensure their success during this tumultuous time and some of them are even getting a little creative.

Stanley Mayes, the owner of shoe care and repair shop Divine Shine, told FOX Business' Edward Lawrence that his customers have even gone back into their closets and pulled out shoes they don't wear just to give him some business.

Mayes says he is even getting mail-in orders where customers will ship him their shoes from other parts of the country.

"It's not like everybody's flush. But they all are saying, 'OK, here's a piece of my bread' to make sure that you stay there and you eat," Mayes said.

Mayes isn't the only one.

The owners of D.C.-based Ben’s Chili Bowl told FOX Business they have been forced to close all but two locations in the D.C. area. Due to all the coronavirus-related restrictions, the remaining locations can only have about three people inside at one time, according to FOX Business' Edward Lawrence.

However, the eatery, which has been a pillar in the community since 1958, is receiving a great deal of support from customers.

Not only are they receiving donations but they are also getting a steady amount of to-go orders from customers.


The owners are now trying to pay that kindness forward by promoting other struggling minority businesses in the area, including the Brazilian American Culture Center.

"At night it's applying for grants, getting financials together because you need to be ready for whatever comes in terms of applying," Brazilian American Culture Center owner Simone dos Santos said.