Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced his American Rescue Plan — an agenda to address economic inequities and challenges accentuated by COVID-19. The announcement came as the COVID death toll surpassed 400,000, and as another 900,000 Americans filed for unemployment. As President Biden noted, “the crisis is only deepening. It’s not getting better; it’s deepening.”
His economic priorities discuss his aim to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic recovery, and invest in racial justice.” With 2021 in full swing, it’s critical policymakers continue to take swift action to address the dire needs of entrepreneurs, as well as pursue policies that create a more equitable economy.
Small Businesses Continue to Face Closures in 2021
Small Business Majority released new survey results from late 2020 that emphasize the deepening and persisting nature of the crisis. Among the findings: “18% of Black and Latino entrepreneurs report they are likely to permanently close their business in the next three months, compared to 14% of white small business owners.”
COVID-19 deaths are surging again in some of America’s largest urban areas
Research from Economic Innovation Group explored COVID-19 death rates across the country, identifying trends related to race, income, and other factors that emphasize the inequitable impact of the pandemic. The research shows that “COVID-19 mortality rate for a distressed county with an elevated share of Hispanics is 210.9 deaths per 100,000, 201.2 for those with an elevated Black share, and 145.5 for those with an elevated white share.”
Innovation proposals in Biden’s COVID plan would provide emergency, long-term assistance
Jason Rittenberg of SSTI broke down the innovation and entrepreneurship components of the American Rescue Plan. “Among other provisions,” he writes, “it would provide $35 billion for a new business finance program that supports venture capital, $350 billion for state and local governments to help address budget shortfalls, $35 billion for higher education and $3 billion for the Economic Development Administration.” The analysis discusses the proposals in the context of what previous administrations have done for entrepreneurs.
Where to Look for ‘Hidden’ Covid Relief Funding
And finally, to help struggling entrepreneurs navigate ongoing relief opportunities, Hello Alice President Elizabeth Gore published an overview of current funding options in Inc, discussing both the short- and long-term streams available.