Funding challenges limit minority-owned businesses’ access to energy efficiency

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Contributed date

January 6, 2021 - 9:18am

Critical Commentary

As already documented prior to the pandemic, Black, Latinx, and minority-owned businesses tend to fare worse than white-owned businesses. With the advent of the pandemic, Black and Latinx-owned businesses closed down at twice or nearly twice the rate of white-owned businesses. A combination of covert racism, lack of market connections, and ripple effects of redlining and general disinvestment in black and minority communities has been at the root of this overwhelming closure of black and minority-owned businesses. Additionally, black and minority-owned businesses tend to be overwhelming be located in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, meaning the businesses tend to have less tangible income. These businesses also tend to be ostracized from energy efficiency investments that could lower operating costs. Not to mention, many of the loans that could finance building improvements were not designed to cover costs for small businesses. Important to note is the role of social networks and network connections, which are at the heart of loans. When small business owners don't have those connections their investment potential can be seriously thwarted. Overall, beyond energy efficiency standards' improvements, the article calls for revisions in policies that ostracize small businesses and black and minority-owned small businesses especially.  


Kowalski, K. M. (2021, Jan 4). "Funding challenges limit minority-owned businesses’ access to energy efficiency." Energy News. Retrieved from

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Cite as

Anonymous, "Funding challenges limit minority-owned businesses’ access to energy efficiency", contributed by Alison Kenner and Briana Leone, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 6 January 2021, accessed 19 April 2024.’-access-energy-efficiency