Updated: Jul 12

The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) recently distributed more than 50,000 reusable cloth masks to minority-owned businesses throughout Miami-Dade County to aid in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. The reusable cloth masks were provided to the MDCC by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).

“The importance of protecting ourselves and others is vital now more than ever. The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce recognizes that minority-owned businesses’ need for face mask remains ongoing throughout South Florida. We are more than honored to leverage our relationships with the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) and FDOH to provide much-needed face mask,” said G. Eric Knowles, President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. “MDCC is proud to continue to do our part to support minority-owned businesses and the community as a whole amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that nothing is more important to our local businesses than the health and safety of its employees and customers.”

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has continued to shutter many small businesses. Specifically, the pandemic is disproportionately hurting minority-owned small businesses. Minority-owned businesses are struggling more than ever due to the lack of access to loans and the inability to easily move their businesses online. The pandemic has negatively affected minority-owned businesses like restaurants and retail, which lockdowns have hit especially hard. Moreover, minority-owned businesses also appear to be benefiting less from federal stimulus programs.

Additionally, minority communities also continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 public health crisis. African-Americans are more than twice as likely as other Americans to die of the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age.

“The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented; however, MDCC understands that our path forward requires that we support our minority-owned businesses any way we can. Helping these businesses is who we are at MDCC,” added Mr. Knowles. “We will continue to do everything we can to help each minority business owner who needs it to get back on their feet. Through our donation of face masks, it is our hope that we can help limit the spread of this virus and ease the burden on these minority-owned businesses, their staff, and their customers."


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