Press Release

Paving a Path Forward – New Union Bank Survey Finds Minority Small Business Owners in the U.S. Are More Optimistic, Adaptable and Innovative During COVID-19

Press contact:
Sierra Wilson              
(213) 236-5329
sierra.wilson@unionbank.com

Edelman PR
unionbank@edelman.com

COVID-19 vaccine outranks presidential election results as top issue impacting their success

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 6, 2020) — Despite experiencing significant hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, a higher percentage of minority small business owners (SBOs) across the U.S. are innovating to keep their small businesses afloat than their non-diverse counterparts, according to new research from Union Bank, a leading West Coast bank.  

According to the Union Bank Small Business Mindshift 2020 survey, as of October 2020, minority SBOs, including Black, Latinx, and Asian American are two times more likely to say COVID-19 has had a positive impact on their business. As a result of their adaptability and agility, 34 percent of minority SBOs see a path forward to how their business can survive, compared to 20 percent of non-diverse SBOs.

However, over half of U.S. minority SBOs are still calling for more support – from their government (66 percent), from their communities (59 percent), and from the private sector (51 percent).

“This pandemic has hit all small businesses, and particularly minority owned small businesses, extremely hard, especially in California where we have had some of the most sustained and stringent closure guidelines,” said Todd Hollander, Head of Business Banking and Small Business for Union Bank. “But every day we see our clients finding creative ways to keep their doors open and their employees paid. We are here to support them in those efforts both as a bank and as members of our local communities.”

Despite this desire for additional support, U.S. minority SBOs have demonstrated significantly more adaptability than non-diverse SBOs during COVID-19 by adjusting their business practices – these changes include:

  • Products or services (52 percent minority SBOs vs. 38 percent non-diverse SBOs)
  • Online retail options (50 percent minority SBOs vs. 35 percent non-diverse SBOs)
  • Delivery options (47 percent minority SBOs vs. 29 percent non-diverse SBOs)
  • Online advertising (40 percent minority SBOs vs. 26 percent non-diverse SBOs)

“These survey findings reinforce what we already know – minority small businesses have always worked hard despite difficult circumstances or external environments – and as a result, have constantly been more resilient and adaptable,” said Frank Robinson, Diverse Markets and Community-Based Programs Executive for Union Bank. “Minority small businesses are at the heart and soul of their local communities, and as such, we are committed to helping them recover and thrive through our recently announced $10 million Community Recovery Program and other initiatives. We seek to provide them added support through critical economic stability and the tools necessary to succeed moving forward.”

California-based SBOs are struggling, but minority owners are more resilient.

SBOs in California are feeling more deflated and uncertain, as only 13 percent say they see a path forward, compared to 23 percent of SBOs across the U.S. 

However, minority SBOs in California are demonstrating more innovation and optimism – which could be a product of their stronger community bonds.

Not only are minority SBOs in California more likely to have embraced their community leadership roles with 55 percent feeling an increased sense of responsibility to help their community (vs. 44 percent of non-diverse SBOs) – but they’re also getting more support in return with 39 percent feeling supported by their local community (vs. 33 percent of non-diverse SBOs).

“Each day I see the power of mutual responsibility and camaraderie between our minority small business owners and their local communities,” said Lilly Rocha, Executive Director, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce. “As we work to recover our nation’s physical and economic health, we should learn from these minority communities and embrace this critical responsibility to lift each other up – particularly our local small business owners who have been hit hardest.”

Success and survival – determined first by a vaccine and then the election.

SBOs across the United States are highly engaged in the upcoming general election – with two in three saying it’s the most important election in their lifetime and one in three saying the outcome of this election will determine their small business’ survival.

But despite this, the highest percentage of SBOs rank getting a COVID-19 vaccine as–the No. 1 issue affecting their business success over the next six months – 24 percent compared to only 18 percent for the presidential election.

As a unified front, SBOs across the board agree that not politics, but science – and a COVID-19 vaccine – will be the determining factor toward recovery and further success.

About the Union Bank Small Business Mindshift 2020 survey

Research was gathered through an online survey of 850 SBOs across the U.S. and 151 SBOs in California, commissioned by Union Bank and conducted by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence. SBOs were defined as those who own businesses with 2-99 employees. Data was collected August 26 – September 8.

About Union Bank

Union Bank is a full-service bank with a rich history of investing in our clients, communities and colleagues throughout the West Coast for more than 150 years. Union Bank provides a wide range of personal and business banking products as well as wealth management services. With nearly 340 branches in California, Oregon and Washington, Union Bank remains committed to serving the needs of its local communities. As a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), one of the world’s largest financial institutions, Union Bank holds our clients’ best interests to heart and remains committed to investing in their success.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

As of June 30, 2020, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. operated 348 branches, consisting primarily of retail banking branches in the West Coast states, along with commercial branches in Texas, Illinois, New York, and Georgia. We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of our clients. We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for clients, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services. With assets of $136.3 billion, as of June 30, 2020, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings, and capital ratios relative to peer banks. MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG), one of the world’s largest financial institutions with total assets of approximately ¥341.9 trillion (JPY) or $3.2 trillion (USD), as of June 30, 2020. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company, and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California.