Latinx Communities Fear Financial Ruin Because of COVID-19

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Apr 13, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to upend our lives, the Latinx community said it is bracing for another economic hit against its wealth, which was already badly battered during 2007’s Great Recession, NBC News reports.

For one, some Latinx workers lack the luxury to work from home. "Eighty-four percent of Hispanics in the United States don’t have jobs that allow them to stay home," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus told NBC in a report published on April 12. In fact, many of the workers who are considered essential—such as people who work in food and agriculture; energy sectors such as waste disposal and construction and transportation—are often people of color, as Colorlines has previously reported.

During the Great Recession, the Latinx community was the most affected group, as they saw household incomes drop 66 percent in four years time, from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009, according to a 2011 Pew Center Research report. Now with the novel coronavirus, NBC noted that even with the $2 trillion stimulus package, many Latinx families were left out because recipients must have a social security number and not pay taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). 

“After the smoke clears up, we will see a zap of our small businesses,” Nancy Santiago Negrón, a founding member of Ureeka, a platform that seeks to help entrepreneurs boost their businesses, told NBC News. “We will see families without income. It would be entire communities having lost all their wealth and all their assets." 

To help small and medium-sized business owners stay afloat, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched a technical assistance guide and a YouTube webinar to assist entrepreneurs to find funding.