Sunday, May 24, 2009
Job losses in an afflicted economy slow business for many black retailers
By Gregory Lewis | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
May 24, 2009
The signs of the recession in black communities go beyond layoffs and lines at unemployment offices.
There's no waiting for tables during the lunch hour rush at popular diners such as Betty's Soul Food Restaurant off Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and Donnie's Place in the revitalized black business district of Delray Beach. Barbers chairs in Cut 'N' Corners in Miramar and in Delray Beach's Top Notch Beauty, Spa & Suites go empty as regular customers wait an extra week to get their hair done. The Book Lover's Lounge in Lauderhill has closed, forcing owner Kesha Davis to hawk her wares at community events. As the saying goes: When white businesses catch a cold, black businesses get pneumonia.
"This recession is like a hurricane," said Mark Vitner, Wachovia Corp. economist. "It has cut a wide swatch. It's difficult for all, but in the African-American community unemployment tends to be higher."
In fact, while nearly 9 percent of all Americans are out of work, the rate for black adult men and women is more than 6 percentage points higher at 15 percent.
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