Supporting Small Businesses to Do Well and Do Good in the 21st Century

Overview

A thriving, inclusive economy depends on the success and growth of small businesses. Nearly half of all workers are employed at a small business; and businesses owned by women and people of color have created 1.3 million new jobs between 2007 and 2012. This brief looks at small businesses and the barriers they face in providing good jobs obstacles, as well as key strategies being implemented by various actors in the business development ecosystem—technical assistance providers, small-business lenders and investors, economic development agencies, business associations, and workforce and labor partners—to help small businesses get on the road to good jobs.

Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America's Metros

Overview

The latest brief from the National Equity Atlas team, Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros, analyzes the relationship between racial and spatial inequality in employment across America’s largest 150 metropolitan regions. We find that in several regions with large racial gaps in employment such as Youngstown and Milwaukee, unemployed workers of color tend to live in a small number of neighborhoods. In these places, neighborhood-targeted workforce development and job access strategies have the potential to increase racial equity and reduce disparities at the regional level, building stronger and more inclusive regional economies.

An Equity Profile of the Los Angeles Region

Overview

The 2017 Equity Profile of the Los Angeles Region, highlights the widening inequities in income, wealth, health and opportunity in Los Angeles County. This summary and full report was developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, and is supported by the Weingart Foundation.

The new report underscores that, over the past several decades, long-standing inequities in income, wealth, health, and opportunity have reached historic levels. And while many have been affected by this growing inequality, communities of color have felt the greatest pains as the economy has shifted and stagnated.
 
 

Jobs and Equity in the Urban Forest

Overview

A recent study, Jobs and Equity in the Urban Forest, showcases the small, but growing range of policies, programs, and investments that — like GreenSkills — are harnessing jobs in the urban forest to build opportunity within low-income communities and communities of color. The study is co-authored by Ecotrust, a Portland, Oregon, nonprofit that promotes environmentally sound economic development, and PolicyLink, in partnership with Portland green infrastructure contractor, Verde Landscape.

Ending the Debt Trap: Strategies to Stop the Abuse of Court-Imposed Fines and Fees

Overview

A new brief from PolicyLink, looks at ways in which the use of fines and fees has expanded over time, the impact of these practices, and the inefficiency of these policies as a budget tool for local governments. The brief lifts up promising strategies that are currently being implemented across the country to ensure that judicial fines and fees do not contribute to burdensome debt for low-income communities and people of color — including a set of recommendations to help institutionalize reforms within local and state governments.

Fresno County at a Crossroads: Equity Is the Path to Health and Prosperity

Overview

Fresno is the nation’s top agricultural county, yet it struggles with slow growth, high unemployment, and an economy dominated by low-wage jobs and few pathways into the middle class. While communities of color account for 68 percent of the population — up from 38 percent in 1980 — the county’s racial inequities persist across all indicators of community health and well-being. This health equity and inclusive growth profile and accompanying policy brief were developed in partnership with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They provide unique data and actionable solutions for residents, advocates, funders, business leaders, and policymakers seeking to reduce racial inequities and build a stronger Fresno. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in Fresno County (Profile)

Overview

Fresno is the nation’s top agricultural county, yet it struggles with slow growth, high unemployment, and an economy dominated by low-wage jobs and few pathways into the middle class. While communities of color account for 68 percent of the population — up from 38 percent in 1980 — the county’s racial inequities persist across all indicators of community health and well-being. This health equity and inclusive growth profile and accompanying policy brief were developed in partnership with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They provide unique data and actionable solutions for residents, advocates, funders, business leaders, and policymakers seeking to reduce racial inequities and build a stronger Fresno. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

An Equity Profile of New Orleans

Overview

New Orleans’ incredible diversity can be a tremendous economic asset if people of color are fully included as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. However, while the city’s economy is showing signs of resurgence after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, rising inequality, stagnant wages, and persistent racial inequities place its long-term economic future at risk. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Long Island

Overview

Long Island – defined as Nassau and Suffolk counties – is rapidly diversifying. Today, one in three Long Island residents is a person of color – up from roughly one in 10 residents in 1980. Black Long Islanders, who were largely excluded from the massive federally subsidized suburban development that characterizes Long Island, continue to face barriers to full social, economic, and political inclusion. This profile shows how persistent segregation and racial disparities in wealth, housing, educational attainment and many other areas is costing Long Island billions of dollars in potential economic growth each year. The accompanying policy brief provides a series of recommendations designed to close the racial wealth divide which would result in a major boost to Long Island’s economy. It was produced by PolicyLink and PERE, with lead support from Citi Community Development and funding from Long Island Community Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and profile, and see the press release.

An Equity Profile of Grand Rapids

Overview

Grand Rapids is an increasingly diverse city. While it has experienced some overall population loss over the last decade, communities of color have significantly grown – and their ability to participate and thrive is central to the city’s success. This profile shows how equitable growth is the path to sustained economic prosperity in the region. It was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the full profile.

Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in Buffalo

Overview

With millions in public and private investments on the horizon, Buffalo, New York, is poised for resurgence. But if new investments do not address persistent racial and economic inequities, the city’s long-term economic future is at risk. This health equity and inclusive growth profile offers leaders data and strategies to undergird policy solutions to advance health equity, inclusive growth, and a culture of health. They were developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, in partnership with Open Buffalo, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

Health Equity: The Path to Inclusive Prosperity in Buffalo

Overview

With millions in public and private investments on the horizon, Buffalo, New York, is poised for resurgence. But if new investments do not address persistent racial and economic inequities, the city’s long-term economic future is at risk. This health equity and inclusive growth profile offers leaders data and strategies to undergird policy solutions to advance health equity, inclusive growth, and a culture of health. They were developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, in partnership with Open Buffalo, and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Jackson

Overview

Since 1990, Jackson, Mississippi has experienced notable demographic growth and transformation — driven mostly by an increase in the Black and Latino populations. Today, these demographic shifts persist. By growing good jobs, connecting younger generations with older ones, integrating immigrants into the economy, Jackson can put all residents on the path towards reaching their full potential, and secure a bright future for the city and region. This equity analysis of Jackson was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Read the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Detroit City

Overview

After decades of job and population loss, the City of Detroit has shown recent signs of growth. However, this Detroit Renaissance is not enjoyed equally by all residents; deep racial disparities, declining wages, and a hollowing out of middle-wage, high-opportunity jobs threaten the city’s rebound and economic viability. Equitable development strategies will be essential if growth is to have an appreciable impact on poverty, inequality, and racial disparities. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Biloxi

Overview

Biloxi, Mississippi is becoming increasingly diverse despite experiencing population decline. The city’s diversity can be a tremendous economic asset if people of color are fully included as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. By advancing policy strategies to grow good jobs, build healthy communities of opportunity, prevent displacement, and ensure just policing and court systems, Biloxi can put all residents on the path toward reaching their full potential. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city and region. Read the full profile.

See other Equity Profiles on the Equitable Economy section.

Empowering Black Long Island: How Equity Is Key to the Future of Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Overview

Long Island – defined as Nassau and Suffolk counties – is rapidly diversifying. Today, one in three Long Island residents is a person of color – up from roughly one in 10 residents in 1980. Black Long Islanders, who were largely excluded from the massive federally subsidized suburban development that characterizes Long Island, continue to face barriers to full social, economic, and political inclusion. This profile shows how persistent segregation and racial disparities in wealth, housing, educational attainment and many other areas is costing Long Island billions of dollars in potential economic growth each year. The accompanying policy brief provides a series of recommendations designed to close the racial wealth divide which would result in a major boost to Long Island’s economy. It was produced by PolicyLink and PERE, with lead support from Citi Community Development and funding from Long Island Community Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and profile, and see the press release.

Building Financially Secure Futures: An Approach for Boys and Men of Color

Bridging the Racial Generation Gap Is Key to America's Economic Future

Overview

In 2015, 78 percent of America’s seniors were white while 49 percent of the nation’s youth were people of color — a phenomenon that we call the racial generation gap. To the extent that racial divides result in predominantly white seniors choosing not to invest in a more racially diverse young population, this could hamstring the development of the next generation of workers and leaders. This research brief examines the growth of the racial generation gap and its effect on per-child k-12 education spending. We find that every percentage-point increase in the racial generation gap is associated with a decrease in state and local per-child education spending of around 1.5 percent. This adds up in places that have seen a lot of demographic change. For example, Nevada’s spending could be about $2,600 more per student if there was no racial generation gap. Given this relationship, it is critical to ensure equitable school funding, direct investments in youth, and build multi-generational coalitions for change. Download the BRIEF or DATA.

When Renters Rise, Cities Thrive: National and City Fact Sheets

Overview

Renters now represent the majority in the nation’s 100 largest cities, and contribute billions to local economies. Yet renters face a toxic mix of rising rents and stagnant wages, both of which add up to an unprecedented affordability crisis that stymies their ability to contribute to the broader economy and thrive. This analysis, produced in support of the Renter Week of Action occurring September 16-24, reveals what renters and the nation stand to gain from addressing this crisis. We find that nationwide, if renters paid only what was affordable for housing, they would have $124 billion extra to spend in the community every year, or $6,200 per rent-burdened household. Download the national fact sheet and press release.

America's Tomorrow Newsletter, January 12

Overview

The Curb-Cut Effect; Year in Review: 2016 Highlights from America’s Tomorrow

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