Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality are changing quickly as protests and media attention have helped highlight the gaps in opportunity between white- and minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Driving the news: A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife provided early to Axios shows a 17-point increase in the number of small business owners who say minority-owned small businesses face more challenges than non-minority-owned ones.

By the numbers: In July, 69% of respondents said minority-owned companies faced a tougher road, compared to 52% in January.

  • The change was most notable among white-owned small businesses, with 67% now saying they agree, and 24% saying they disagree.
  • In the first quarter, 47% of white-owned businesses said they agreed and 40% disagreed. 

To wit, two-thirds (66%) of all small businesses acknowledge that minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

What they're saying: "The pandemic could exacerbate and elongate the economic struggles already facing minority-owned businesses and families," Suzanne P. Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber, said in a statement.

Yes, but: Tiffiany Howard, a UNLV political science professor and recent international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells Axios that while "there has been a recognition and acknowledgement of racism because they fundamentally know it has existed, and that they have benefited from racist power structures," attitude changes must lead to tangible actions.

  • "Until substantive action is taken to address the disenfranchisement, and efforts are made to invest in Black businesses, then while we may witness public acknowledgement, nothing will actually change."

Where it stands: The Chamber's survey also asked small business owners about current conditions.

  • They found minority-owned business owners are more likely than their white counterparts to report difficulty obtaining loans, express fears about permanently closing, and predict declining revenues in the coming year.
  • The poll finds that 66% of minority-owned small businesses are concerned about having to permanently close their doors compared to 57% for white-owned small businesses.
  • However, the gap has narrowed from May, when 78% for minority-owned companies reported concern compared to 52% of white-owned firms.

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Aug 31, 2020 - Technology

Facebook, Google hurt local communities, group says

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook and Google are hollowing out local communities by serving as vectors for misinformation while hobbling local journalism and collecting taxpayer subsidies, a new paper from progressive think tank the American Economic Liberties Project charges.

The big picture: Both companies cite benefits their platforms offer small businesses as a key defense against critiques of their size and power. The paper, dated Aug. 30, is sure to presage further scrutiny of the impact they've had on local communities.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 30,782,337 — Total deaths: 957,037— Total recoveries: 21,032,539Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,764,962 — Total deaths: 199,258 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

The positions of key GOP senators on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee by next week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks out from Election Day.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) told Alaska Public Media, "I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election."