Economic Policy

The Joint Center’s economic policy program identifies challenges and opportunities for advancing the economic status of Black communities. See below for research, analysis, and activities related to economic policy.

Sustain Black Businesses

Black businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 26% decline in the number of active Black business owners between February and May 2020.1 The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program—which issues forgivable loans to keep businesses open and employees on payrolls—failed to adequately support Black businesses, in part through its design. Policymakers…

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Pandemic Relief Priorities for Black Communities

By LaShonda Brenson Ph.D., Jessica Fulton, and Spencer Overton While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately harm Black communities in the United States, Congress and the Trump Administration have failed to come to an agreement on a fourth legislative package that will bring relief to millions in our nation.1 Granted, the relief package should direct…

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Provide Financial Support for Black Workers

Black workers are over-represented in public transit, childcare and social services, health care, trucking, warehouse, and postal service, and many other frontline occupations deemed “essential.”1 Despite this work, Black communities have experienced high rates of both job and income loss. In June 2020, 15.4% of Black workers were looking for but unable to find work.2…

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Investing in Black Economists and Centering Black Communities in Economic Policy

The pandemic and the killing of George Floyd and many others have highlighted racial inequity. Even if we develop a vaccine soon and enact effective policing reform, however, systemic challenges will persist. Addressing systemic anti-Blackness in economics is of the entire effort to dismantle systemic racism. First, we need to invest more in supporting and…

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Joint Center Vice President Speaks to TIME Magazine About The Significant Barriers Black Businesses Are Facing During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Joint Center Vice President Jessica Fulton spoke to TIME Magazine about how Black businesses are facing significant barriers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.e Several Black businesses weren’t able to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program—an issue the Joint Center focused on in our online briefing on Black businesses, access to capital, and future stimulus proposals.…

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The Impact of the HEROES Act on Black Communities

Last Friday, U.S. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion bill to address economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic—the HEROES Act. Economic Support for Individuals:  African American unemployment more than doubled in April alone (from 6.7% in March to 16.7% in April), and the HEROES Act attempts to provide economic relief to families. The bill extends…

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