LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner held a discussion with Lynchburg leaders about crises within minority businesses at G8 Pl8 Cafe in Lynchburg.
Warner emphasized that the pandemic disproportionally hit black and female-owned businesses. Some voices of those businesses in Lynchburg were being heard during the conversation on Thursday, April 8.
“If we’re going to have a real economic recovery once we all get vaccinated, we’ve gotta make sure that black-owned businesses and women-owned businesses get the financial support that they need,” Warner said.
The senator added that it starts relationships between banks and small business owners, saying, “we need a state where everybody gets the kind of fair shot that I got.”
He made it a point to tell the audience that the federal government put $2 billion into Community Development Financial Institutions, which will lend it to minority and low-income businesses.
Some business owners believe there’s a larger issue to be addressed.
“The government should help poor black people who own houses without mortgages figure out how to improve those houses to improve the neighborhood and how to keep those houses,” Lynchburg entrepreneur Oliver Kuttner told WFXR News.
Owner of DB Homes 4 Hope LLC, Davina Hunt Bare, has owned her establishment for two years. She believes people of color and women have constantly been disadvantaged when it comes to money in general and helping them now will help the community for years to come.
“I’m pouring into people who do look like me who are brown and black because I want them to create generational wealth so that our children, our grandchildren — like the Bible says you’re creating wealth for your children’s children,” Hunt Bare said. “That will change our community. It’s not limited to color…We’re Americans.”
This conversation at was the last stop on Warner’s three-day tour.