Black Entrepreneurs, Frustrated by High Rates, Look to the Election


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Breaking News!

Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

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By Peter S. Goodman, The New York Times

In the battleground state of Georgia, some Black entrepreneurs are frustrated over the impact of higher interest rates, a source of economic anxiety.

After pandemic restrictions were lifted, Omar Whilby saw a surge of business at his nightclub. But last year, with interest rates spiking and prices climbing, business fell (Rita Harper for The New York Times).

Kimberly Jolasun, a 32-year-old entrepreneur in Atlanta, has never voted for the Republican candidate for the presidency. That may be about to change.

Her company, Villie, is an online platform that lets new parents share photos and updates about their babies with friends and relatives and register for gifts like strollers and playpens. Not yet profitable, her company needs financing to grow. But venture capitalists struggle with her untraditional profile, she said. Technology is dominated by white men in places like Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas. She is a Black woman in Georgia.

Banks want to charge her interest as high as 14 percent for business loans. The interest rate on the credit card debt she used to start the company has spiked to 25 percent, tripling her monthly payments.

Ms. Jolasun knows that borrowing costs are driven by the Federal Reserve. She does not blame President Biden. But she assumes that his Republican opponent, former President Donald J. Trump, is more in tune with the needs of business owners. So she is seriously contemplating giving him her vote.

Continue reading.

Learn what other financial concerns Black business owners are dealing with in this Breaking News article.

Find even more Breaking News here.

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