Leaders representing BIPOC-owned businesses to talk reform
Leaders of BIPOC business groups on Wednesday, Feb. 3, will talk about potential reforms after a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately hammered racial and ethnic minorities.
The hour-long discussion hosted by City Club of Portland, part of a series called "State of the Possible," happens online starting at noon.
The pandemic has disproportionately hit BIPOC-owned businesses, according to several studies.
One study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last July concluded that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses in the United States shut down by April, as compared to 17 percent of White-owned businesses, 32 percent of Latinx-owned businesses and 26 percent of Asian-owned businesses.
Some aid programs have sought to address the problem. Last July Oregon lawmakers approved $62 million for the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency.
But other programs have come under fire. A city of Portland audit released last September found that a contracting program intended to benefit minority- and women-owned businesses had instead primarily benefited White people.
The panel on Wednesday will "share their ideas for a more equitable economy."
The expected speakers include Ashley Henr, Executive Director, Business for a Better Portland; Andrew Hoan, CEO, Portland Business Alliance; Jan Mason, President, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon; James Parker, Executive Director, Oregon Native American Chamber; and Orlando Williams of the Black American Chamber of Commerce.
XRAY.FM and Pamplin Media Group are media sponsors of the event.
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