Ethnically diverse businesses struggle with wealth gap

Navid+Assif+and+his+father+working+on+a+busy+Saturday+afternoon+at+New+York+Gyro.

Ella Doeden

Navid Assif and his father working on a busy Saturday afternoon at New York Gyro.

Calling out to all Sartell consumers! Online and in-store, there are many different ethnic businesses that need our support!

 Studies have shown that many ethnically diverse businesses have been struggling with the wealth gap due to the discrimination their race faces. In 2016, statistics recorded that the average white family household income was $171,000 annually. Comparing the numbers in a black family household in 2016, the results came in nearly ten times lower at an average of $17,150.

Mid February of 2021, Hormud Meat & Grocery, a Somali-owned grocery store in St. Cloud, was vandalized. The outside of the store was spray painted with “GO HOME” in big red letters. The St. Cloud police have reported to have no leads on the suspect.

Navid Assif, son of the co-owner of New York Gyro in St. Cloud, shares his involvement with the business, the diversity of customers, and what he and his family notice in the act of racial discrimination. 

Assif explains how he and his family have lived in Sartell for around eight years now, originally coming from New York thus starting the ownership of New York Gyro: “So my dad has been a partner in the business for a little bit over a year now, but he’s had his hands in the restaurant business for about seven years.”

I mean you witness that in everyday life, but we do our best to try to put our best foot forward and be the change you want to see in the world.”

— Navid Assif

Navid shares that his restaurant is lucky to see such diversity in the customers who come to New York Gyro stating that there hasn’t been prominent cases of discrimination. “The diversity range is really wide, from all ethnicities and all demographics.” 

Navid also states that though his restaurant hasn’t faced any business-related racial or ethnic discrimination, but it is still an issue witnessed in everyday life: “I mean you witness that in everyday life, but we do our best to try to put our best foot forward and be the change you want to see in the world.”

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