The coronavirus pandemic’s economic impacts are still unfolding, but things are already far from evenly distributed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as unemployment fell for white workers in May, it rose to the highest rate in a decade among Black ones. Just as Black workers are disproportionately impacted by layoffs — and left out of the little economic recovery made so far — Black business owners are hurting, too. But over the past few months, Black LGBTQ owned businesses have tapped into their communities for support and reshaped what it means to do business in the middle of a pandemic.
Calls to support LGBTQ businesses through the pandemic have picked up as some historic bars have shut down, but racism in the LGBTQ community remains a huge issue. For example, in 2017 a report found that racism in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ neighborhood — the Gayborhood — has been long standing, which surprised absolutely nobody who is Black and from Philly. So with rallying cries to support these businesses, what about the need to preserve spaces and companies for Black LGBTQ communities specifically?