A question of equity: Can R.I. level the field for minority business owners?

DIVERSE WORKFORCE: C.C. Business Corp. Vice President Ron Brewer, left, and President Marcellus Sharpe stand outside of Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket, one of the private-security company’s clients. Brewer estimates that 70% of the company’s 39 employees are minorities. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
DIVERSE WORKFORCE: C.C. Business Corp. Vice President Ron Brewer, left, and President Marcellus Sharpe stand outside of Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket, one of the private-security company’s clients. Brewer estimates that 70% of the company’s 39 employees are minorities. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
As small-business owners clambered to get in on the federal payroll relief program launched in the wake of COVID-19, Anna Mangeni held back. Her business, Nissi Naturals LLC, was in trouble, having lost all its retail and event-related sales when stay-at-home orders took effect in mid-March. But applying through a bank, as the program required,…

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