The Kresge Foundation: New NCRC report affirms small businesses help maintain cultural identity of communities

The Kresge Foundation, May 13, 2021, New NCRC report affirms small businesses help maintain cultural identity of communities

In a new report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, 10 Black business owners in historically Black neighborhoods discuss the cultural significance of small businesses and how they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on communities in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, researchers shared these key takeaways: Small businesses help maintain the cultural identity of communities, and they need support now more than ever.

The NCRC study, “The COVID Pandemic and Its Impacts On Culturally-Significant Businesses,” had two important goals: (1) to arrive at a meaning for culturally significant businesses that allow designation to drive programs and investment across different communities, and (2) to uncover and disseminate information on how these culturally significant businesses fared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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