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Goldman Sachs Foundation President Asahi Pompey: Why we're actually seeing businesses starting amid a pandemic

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Goldman Sachs Foundation President Asahi Pompey explains why Goldman is seeing an uptick in small business applications.

Video transcript

ASAHI POMPEY: You know, I think they do have a bigger voice now. I think people are more willing to listen to what their concerns are. What we've seen is that it was hard being a small business pre-pandemic. And being a small business in a pandemic is even tougher. As we speak to Black businesses in particular, what they tell us is that they have less cash reserve. They've seen bigger dips in their number of their employees. They're really concerned about reopening. And so those are some of the concerns that are being laid out.

I would really describe this pandemic in terms of seasons, right? So the first season was really the season of emergency, getting emergency funding. Roughly 90% of our 10,000 small businesses participants said they, in fact, received PPP grants. Well, we moved from that emergency season really into the season of pivot, where businesses were cautiously reopening. We had a distillery-- a vodka distillery in Utah that was now making hand sanitizers. And so businesses were really trying to adapt to stay alive.

Now we've really moved into that third season, and that third season is the new normal. Businesses are saying 90% of them-- of our businesses-- in fact say, the changes that I'm making today are for the long term, right? So we had a brick-and-mortar bakery business that's now making DIY cookie-decorating kits. She's now also moved to wholesale bakery. And so that's a lot of what we're seeing is this new normal, making shifts for the long term.

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