Melva M. Miller, CEO, Association for a Better New York, Jose Ortiz, CEO, NYC Employment and Training Coalition, and Gregg Bishop, Interim Executive Director of Coro New York and Former Commissioner of NYC SBS
Covid-19 has once again laid bare the underlying racial injustices and disparities within our city. As we think about economic recovery and a pathway forward in responding to health disparities and racial injustice, one thing is clear: We will not be successful if we simply get “back to normal.” We need to ensure a recovery that benefits all New Yorkers, and that includes the people who need to benefit the most from an equitable recovery in its planning, implementation and oversight.
This discussion will focus on targeted support of small businesses and workforce development to address inequities and enable NYC’s speedy recovery and inclusive growth. In New York, 98% of businesses are small, and many of the people they employ live in the communities most affected by the coronavirus. Historically, entrepreneurship has meant opportunities for equality and equity and a vehicle out of poverty for many communities of color—and we need to support economic opportunities in these communities.
We’ll be discussing issues to help provide equitable access to resources that support a robust, diverse business community in New York, including the following:
• Increasing targeted grant programs and no-interest loan funds for small businesses
• Legal assistance and lease support
• Skills-building and job-placement programs with real career trajectory positions that ensure middle-class salaries
• Pandemic-related reopening and operational support for businesses in local neighborhoods.
• Advancing policies that address long-term inequities.