Creating Inclusive Economic Recovery Plans at the City and Regional Level
April 7, 2020
Economic, business and non-profit leaders met for a virtual NGIN Roundtable to talk about Creating Inclusive Economic Recovery Plans at the City and Regional Level. Our conversation covered the emerging principles to build an inclusive post-COVID19 economy:
- Getting the Civics Right to Guide the Recovery – KC Rising is the civic structure which brings together Kansas City’s leadership around a shared vision of regional prosperity for all. Sheri highlighted that within this initiative, the region’s business leadership was bold enough to take racial bias training and task forces have been explicitly designed for diversity. James Hardy described the Integrated Development unit in Akron and how the vision and implementation has delivered a singular approach for better outcomes for all of Akron.
- Proactive Support and Capital for Diverse Entrepreneurs – Both Baltimore and Miami have undertaken significant outreach efforts to engage their small businesses community, identifying capital needs and other necessary support. Colin highlighted how the Baltimore Development Corporation immediately reached out to the business community and ensured it had over representation from women and black entrepreneurs to capture their needs in recovery planning. James Kohnstamm from Miami-Dade Beacon Council said, “The goal is to pull people in now rather than wait for their needs to surface later.” On the capital side, Sheri highlighted the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund which is administered by a CDFI specializing in financing diverse entrepreneurs.
- Put Innovation up Front – Christine leads Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s innovation efforts, and she highlighted just how integral innovative solutions will be to ensuring an inclusive economic recovery. She also described the need to put innovation and inclusion together, in initiatives like the Urban Initiative Task Force and Miami Community Ventures.
- Value Everyone – Baltimore has laid out three principles for its recovery—Work together, Invest in everyone, and Work from our strength, highlighting the tremendous amount of opportunity for black neighborhoods which have been excluded from past economic growth to now drive the recovery. Akron talked about the importance of investing in the small business and entrepreneurs already in the community rather than trying to attract something new.
- Balancing Analysis with Action – Every panelist highlighted the urgency in having high quality disaggregated data to tracking progress and be accountable for results. But that should not hold back action. David Warm summed it up well: “You have to have enough patience to analyze and listen and engage and enough impatience to act”