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Coalition Roundup: June 12, 2020

Twice a month, we’ll be sharing timely stories from members of the Start Us Up coalition. As recent weeks were defined by protests against police brutality, racism, and injustice, many organizations released statements and published resources aligned with our shared goal to center equity in work relating to entrepreneurship and economic inclusion.

Below are several communications that stood out.

Prosperity Now Stands in Solidarity with You in the Fight for Justice
Gary Cunningham, president and CEO of Prosperity Now, shared a letter, calling for “anti-racist policies that enable the racial wealth divides in our country to close, not widen.”

A List of Black-Owned Businesses to Support Across America
According to Hello Alice’s data, difficulty accessing capital is the biggest challenge facing Black business owners other than reduced sales. Meanwhile, the number of working Black business owners decreased by 40% — double the national rate. The Hello Alice team compiled directories of Black-owned businesses across America, encouraging all to lend support to businesses in need.

I’m Black and a Plaza Business Owner — In That Order; Why a Main Street Entrepreneur Joined KC’s Protests
Startland News, powered by coalition member Startland, published a powerful feature on Kansas City entrepreneur Isaac Collins, who spoke on protests, inequity, and reform — both in Kansas City and across the nation.

Centering Equity, Transforming Systems: A Profile on Joann Massey
The team at Living Cities interviewed Joann Massey, director of Business Diversity & Compliance for the City of Memphis. Massey discussed efforts to grow the ecosystem of businesses owned by people of color and steps to close economic racial gaps.

We also encourage you to read this powerful message from Living Cities President and CEO Ben Hecht on standing in solidarity with communities of color.

We Need Investment in Black-Owned Businesses: Black Opal Beauty CEO
And finally, 1871 shared a CNBC interview with Desiree Rogers, CEO of Black Opal Beauty and an 1871 member. Rogers addressed how businesses and entrepreneurs can contribute to progress, including addressing opportunity gaps.

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