FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A University of Arkansas professor recently completed a study showing the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on black-owned businesses more than other businesses.

The study, by associate professor Xiao Huang, used something called “geospatial big data” to draw its conclusion. Data came from things like tweets, or Yelp reviews, across 20 major cities in the United States. The multi-city model was to determine national, as opposed to regional trends.

One advantage was the use of the “black-owned business” label by search engines such as Google and rating sites such as Yelp in 2020.

From the analysis, Huang was able to show black businesses had a greater loss in business visits than other businesses during the pandemic. Some metro areas were better, some worse. New York had less disparity, while New Orleans and Detroit showed the most.

No Arkansas cities were included in the survey.

Still, opportunities exist, as do reasons to take advantage of opportunities.

“If you have a dream. Go for it. Ask for help and pursue it with everything you got,” Harvey Williams, co-founder of Helena’s Delta Dirt Distillery said in a June interview. The distillery is the first black-owned farm vodka distillery in America, with a 350 case per-month capacity.

Area reports show the importance of the term “Ask for help.” Arlo Washington, entrepreneur and proprietor of Washington Barber College in Little Rock, said in a February interview that he teaches students there about finance, based on his own experience. This led to his founding PEOPLE Trust Loan Fund, a not-for-profit that helps small businesses in low-income communities.

Retailer Target has announced it will spend more than $2 billion at black-owned businesses by 2025 in order to advance racial equity.