Black and Hispanic business leaders speak on challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic

Businesses in Montgomery County, Maryland that have positioned themselves to be able to operate online are finding that they’re better able to weather challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to Carmen Larsen, Chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County.

“Everybody has been impacted, that’s for sure,” Larsen said.

Larsen joined Janice Freeman, CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County, to discuss the topic with Montgomery County Council President Sidney Katz during his weekly “Business Briefing” on Zoom.

Many businesses have awakened to the utility of technology in leveraging profits against losses caused by the pandemic.

“Suddenly, it’s not just helpful, but it’s absolutely necessary,” said Larsen.

However, Freeman said some struggling businesses are also finding challenges in arranging payment to landlords.

“The other thing that I’m hearing, those that are coming back and their businesses are opening partially — they really aren’t making enough money,” Freeman said.

Freeman says there are about 200 members in her organization, and Larsen says it’s about the same for the Hispanic chamber.

Both say they regularly hear from small business owners who aren’t members, but who are looking for advice, and both say they are happy to offer it.

Montgomery County also provides resources to small businesses through its business portal.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


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