Albany Black-owned businesses talk COVID-19 relief funding concerns

Albany barber talks Black-owned business troubles amid pandemic

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany business owner Lerron Lee said his business is still closed because of the pandemic.

“It’s sad because this business has been here since 2014. And we have had a major effect on the community. So, I hate to see the business close and make the area go down because this business is really needed in this neighborhood," said Lee.

Owner of Kut N Edge Barber Shop, Lee said that he applied for COVID-19 funding, but his business did not receive any relief.

William Wright, president of Afram-Tech Inc., said Lee’s situation as a Black business owner during COVID-19 is not unique. That’s why he went before the Dougherty County Commission on Monday.

William Wright, president of Afram-Tech Inc., said Lee’s situation as a Black business owner during COVID-19 is not unique. That’s why he went before the Dougherty County Commission on Monday.
William Wright, president of Afram-Tech Inc., said Lee’s situation as a Black business owner during COVID-19 is not unique. That’s why he went before the Dougherty County Commission on Monday. (Source: WALB)

He suggested that funds from the Community Development Block Grant, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the federal stimulus packages were not used to help minority businesses.

“On page 11, there is a breakdown of who the SBA gave that payroll protection money to. And on this advertisement, I noticed that not a single African-American, Black-owned business is on this list,” said Wright.

Lee said any type of financial assistance from the local or federal government would help him to get his business doors back open.

“Hopefully, one of these grants will come through, and I get left with some money, and we can open the doors back up. But until then, it’s just a waiting process to see what happens," said Lee.

Wright said he plans to address the county commission again in November.

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