December 15th, 2015

Living Cities and Citi Foundation Release Guide for Cities to Implement Anti-Racist Practices to Support Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Living Cities and Citi Foundation released a guide for cities across the country to implement systems that work to close racialized wealth gaps during COVID-19 and beyond. You can view the full implementation guide here.

On October 27 at 1:30pm ET, Living Cities and Citi Foundation will partner with Governing to hold a webinar discussing how three cities are thinking about driving local economic opportunity and supporting businesses owned by people of color through COVID-19. You can register for the free webinar here.

Between February and April of 2020, the number of working African American business owners in the US dropped by more than 40 percent, Hispanic-owned businesses by 32 percent, Asian-owned businesses by nearly 25 percent, and immigrant-owned businesses by 36 percent.

"The depth of the historic wealth divide between white people and people of color has become more clear during this economic crisis," said Rodrick Miller, CEO of Invest Puerto Rico and lead author of the implementation guide. "The time is now for cities to lead with intentionality in policy and practice, to make sure businesses and people of color can flourish moving forward."

The guide features case studies from Newark, El Paso, Atlanta, Rochester, and Long Beach, which highlight lessons learned on the ground after implementing the tools and recommendations. Cities seeking to recover and thrive during COVID-19 and beyond can utilize the implementation guide's concrete tools and approaches for city governments to play an active role in supporting businesses owned by people of color who are already shouldering the burden of the economic crisis.

It includes principles for securing economic inclusion; equitable guides for designing systems, supporting development, and measuring performance; and explains how to strengthen the capacity of businesses owned by people of color through technical assistance, capital, and financial tools. 

"The tools we lay out in our implementation guide can serve as a way for cities to combat the existing racial wealth gaps that have been dangerously exacerbated by COVID-19," said Elizabeth Reynoso, Associate Director of Public Sector Innovation at Living Cities. "It is our hope that cities across the country will learn from strategies applied by City Accelerator cities and processes described by Rodrick Miller to work on building equitable systems that allow business owners of color to thrive."

"As the racial wealth and opportunity gap deepens across U.S. cities, exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19, it is more critical than ever to equip city and community leaders with effective and actionable strategies to support entrepreneurs and communities of color," said Kristen Scheyder, Senior Program Officer, Citi Foundation. "Through this guide, we hope to provide concrete examples and best practices that will empower other cities to create sustainable and equitable change." 

Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a collaborative of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions. We foster transformational relationships across sectors to connect those who are willing to do the hard work of closing racial income and wealth gaps.

*** Interviews are available with Rodrick Miller, CEO of Invest Puerto Rico and City Leaders in El Paso, TX, Rochester, NY and Long Beach, CA. To book an interview, contact ***

Contact: Cabot Petoia,, 828-899-9239; Jacqueline Lara,, 240-305-2133

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SOURCE Living Cities

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