Coronavirus Lockdowns Hit Black Business Owners Harder: Report

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest drop in small business ownership in the United States, hurting black business owners the most, according to a June study from an economic research organization.

3.3 million business owners are not actively working, and 22% of the closures came during the February-to-April window of coronavirus restrictions, reportedAxios, citing a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. In the whole Great Recession of 2008, small business owners shrank by 730,000 at 5% reduction, the study noted.

Of the 3.3 million, 1.1 million small business owners were black, according to the study. Black business owners shrank from 1.1 million to 640,000 — a 41% difference.

Latino business owners represented the second-largest loss at 32% from February to March, the study showed. Asian business owners were at 26%, and 17% white business owners, the

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Debt Woes Mount for Hotel Company Tied to Coronavirus Relief Loan Controversy

Ashford Hospitality Trust, one of the biggest beneficiaries of a U.S. small businesses coronavirus relief program — before it returned the money after being criticized — has a debt problem.

The Dallas-based lodging real estate investment trust, which owns properties like the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta and Le Pavillon in New Orleans, received $30 million from the Paycheck Protection Program under the $2 trillion U.S. coronavirus relief package.

Deep-pocketed companies and organizations like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and the Los Angeles Lakers received and returned their PPP loans after facing scrutiny, but Ashford Trust Chairman of the Board Monty Bennett initially held out, saying his trio of companies – which also include Braemar Hotels & Resorts and Ashford Inc. – legitimately qualified for the program and needed the money to make debt service and payroll obligations.

Bennett eventually promised to return the PPP money, but Ashford Trust is still in

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