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Immigrant- and minority-owned businesses make up an outsized share of all businesses in New York City, employ hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and contribute to the economic vibrancy and character of neighborhoods in every corner of the city. But the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many of these businesses. Some have already shut their doors permanently, while many more are hanging on by a thread. While immigrant- and minority-owned firms are far from the only businesses struggling to survive this crisis, they were less likely to have cash reserves before the pandemic hit, and a large share operate in the city’s hardest-hit industries—including restaurants, retail, and personal care. These businesses have also faced significantly greater challenges accessing government relief, including the Paycheck Protection Program, which threatens their ability to rebound as the economy reopens.
This solutions-oriented discussion dove into the specific challenges facing immigrant and minority-owned businesses and explored what can be done to help these firms get through this crisis. The first in a three-part virtual forum series, the live-streamed discussion examined what interventions city and state policymakers, nonprofit practitioners, private sector leaders, and New York consumers can make to boost this vital part of the city’s economy.
Center for an Urban Future is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in NYC.
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