NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Jeannine Cook had only opened her Philadelphia bookstore for a few weeks when the coronavirus forced its closure, the latest in a string of obstacles for the Black business owner.
Landlords refused to rent to her, and, like many Black-owned businesses, her Harriett’s Bookshop was too new and small to be eligible for a U.S. government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 setbacks.
“The fact I’m a woman, the fact that I’m young, the fact that I’m Black, the fact that I’m urban … I would be silly not to think those things don’t play a part,” said Cook, who has renewed her lease while worrying about reopening too soon.
“Do I think there’s prejudice and institutional racism? I think that’s 100% sure we know that,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The thing about racism is that