Anya Queen has sent up a flare to try to save Queen’s BBQ and Southern Cuisine, and good people are rallying to help.
So far, according to the GoFundMe page, she’s about a quarter of the way to meeting her $10,000 goal to keep Queen’s BBQ open, and word is spreading through social media and person to person to keep this Black-owned business from a COVID collapse.
“We come to you humbly praying that you might be willing to help us save our restaurant,” Anya Queen wrote on the GoFundMe page she created this week. “COVID-19 has rocked our world, our communities and our lives.”
Truer words were never spoken. COVID-19 has led to the closure of many Pennsylvania businesses large and small, in addition to the death and suffering it has brought to many families. And it’s not done yet.
Black-owned businesses have been among the hardest hit, and unlike many, the Queens weren’t able to cash in on PPP federal assistance programs. They opened during the pandemic and hadn’t been in business long enough to qualify for the help.
Business was bustling when the legislature was in session. But, Anya wrote, “We are no longer getting that foot traffic and impulse guest, the 1000′s of state employees are not at work across the way from us and business is not good for us.”
Queen’s BBQ strove to be a positive symbol of the Harrisburg community. The Queens spoke of helping those in need through their business. They gave food to the homeless, encouraged youth to work hard in school and tried to give their customers a taste of mouth-watering Southern styled barbecue in hopes of easing some of the pains of this unending pandemic.
Now, the Queens are asking for help.
“We are barely able to pay our bills to keep our space secured and the lights on,” Anya wrote. “We are a small mom and pop restaurant and at most have 4 people total in-house to keep us running smoothly. . .
“We were told if you don’t ask for help, no one know that you need help.”
Marcia Perry Dix, founder of the new Pennsylvania Black Chamber of Commerce with her husband David, says 20 percent of small businesses fail in the first year; 30 percent by the second year, 50 percent by the fifth and 70 percent by the 10th year.
“For Black-owned businesses, the numbers are even more daunting,” she said. “Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months.” And that’s not even taking into account the impact of a pandemic like COVID-19.
In fact, David Dix said the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 compelled the start of a state-wide organization to advocate for Black businesses in Pennsylvania, uniting local organizations into a more powerful voice. Never has that voice been more needed than now, when so many minority business owners need support to survive COVID-19.
“We will continue to try to just hold on and not lose it all,” Anya wrote; “we will still be super positive and hopeful, we will continue to make the best of a bad situation, until we cannot anymore.”
That’s the right attitude, and we hope they’ll be able to keep Queen’s BBQ open. But to do so, they will need help to make it through September, when all of those state workers start beating own their doors again.
The Queens have sent up the flare. We urge people in our entire region to respond.
Quality local journalism has never been more important. You deserve the best. Not a subscriber yet? Please consider supporting our work.
#Blackowned #business #asks #weather #COVID19 #summer #Social #Views