How Equity Helps Lift All Boats

Brief

How Equity Helps Lift All Boats

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic had devastating impacts on economies across the world. As the nation distributes exceptional levels of federal funding to recover from the crisis, cities have an unprecedented opportunity to pursue inclusive and equitable recoveries. Persistent disparities are associated with significant aggregate economic losses, costing cities millions of dollars in GDP growth. Communities of color, particularly Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents, were disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 crisis. Research has shown that if recovery funds are not invested inclusively, they can reinforce rather than reduce inequities. Inclusive recovery necessitates overcoming economic distress in ways that allows all, but especially historically excluded groups, to benefit from and contribute to economic growth. If cities hope to overcome persistent disparities and harness the full potential of their local economies, an inclusive and equitable recovery must be prioritized. Through the CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARPA, the federal government will be investing several trillions in dollars across the country. Much of these funds are flexible, meaning localities have the freedom to pursue creative recovery solutions. As they determine how to spend these funds, focusing on those groups most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and centering equity will allow economies to regenerate at a scale that will be felt by all.

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