Prioritizes addressing the District’s racial wealth gap, tackling systemic barriers to access capital and supporting workers & small businesses most impacted by the pandemic
For Release: Thursday, July 1, 2021
Contact: Malcom Fox, 202-227-1701, email@example.com
Washington, DC – Today, the Committee on Business and Economic Development released its FY22 Budget report. Chairman Kenyan McDuffie prioritized funding programs that would reduce the District’s stark racial wealth gap, address gaps in access to capital for socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs and provide financial relief for workers and small businesses in industries that have been the most impacted by this pandemic.
“The Committee’s budget dollars must facilitate an equitable recovery and address the structural economic barriers for communities of color that predate this pandemic,” said Councilmember McDuffie. “The Child Wealth Building Act and guaranteed basic income programs are transformational policies designed to help break the cycle of generational poverty for District residents. I am also proud to advance financial relief for workers and small businesses that have been the most impacted by this pandemic.”
The Committee report includes $9M of the $35M necessary to fund Councilmember McDuffie’s Child Wealth Building Act and $1.5M to support Guaranteed Basic Income pilot programs, both initiatives that would empower low and middle-income families to become financially secure and reduce structural inequities.
Councilmember McDuffie allocates $10M to create a new commercial acquisition fund that provides down payment assistance for local business owners to buy their space, thereby reducing commercial gentrification and displacement. The report also includes $6M in grants for local CDFIs and MDIs that have a demonstrated record of lending to and supporting small businesses owned by women and people of color at rates higher than traditional banks. Both initiatives reduce structural access to capital barriers that stymie economic growth in historically underresourced communities.
Low-wage workers and small businesses in the hospitality, service, and entertainment industries have been especially impacted during this pandemic and require additional financial assistance. The Committee on Business and Economic Development accepted $30M from the Labor Committee for a second round of Bridge Fund grants and approved $8M in relief for arts, culture, and entertainment venues.