WAMU: D.C. Businesses In Majority Black Neighborhoods Waited Longer For Federal Pandemic Aid

WAMU, September 18, 2020: D.C. Businesses In Majority Black Neighborhoods Waited Longer For Federal Pandemic Aid

At the start of the pandemic, when shutdown orders went into effect, many businesses faced a frightening scenario: revenue came to an abrupt halt while expenses continued to pile up. But the businesses that most needed help had to wait the longest for it to arrive, according to a new analysis of federal data.

The analysis by The Brookings Institution found that small businesses in majority Black ZIP codes waited on average 37 days to receive federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program — 10 days longer than businesses in majority white ZIP codes in the District.


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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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