Business Resource Collective: Recommendations for federal relief funds

Due to generations of structural racism and underinvestment, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionately devastating impact on Black, African, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous and immigrant-owned businesses in the Twin Cities and across the state. Our businesses play an essential role in building and sustaining the culture, wealth and economic vitality of BIPOC and immigrant communities — and they are central to the economic survival and prosperity of our state overall.

The Business Resource Collective (BRC) — a coalition of more than 20 cultural and place-based community organizations — came together in 2020 to center Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and people of color-owned (BIPOC) businesses in COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in Minnesota. Because they were more likely to be financially at risk before the pandemic, recovery means that BIPOC-owned businesses have not just returned to their pre-pandemic baseline of underinvestment, but that these business owners have all the tools they need to build back thriving businesses, prepared to withstand the next disaster and continue thriving for decades to come. 

In addition to current program spending, BRC members recommend that a portion of the state’s remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars — $1.15 billion — be invested into the ecosystem that supports BIPOC small businesses, sole-proprietors, micro-businesses and creative businesses to achieve equitable economic recovery over the next five years.

BRC members stand ready to review agency processes, carry out projects that fall under each category, reaching more than 10,000 businesses, creating thousands of jobs, and funneling $25 billion in wages and taxes to the state and municipalities. We also will continue to work with BRC partners to put forward and support additional proposals, such as the “Cultural Corridor Equity Impact Funding Budget” from the Lake Street Leadership Recovery Coalition.

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