White House Office of Public Liaison Shares Latest on Economic Support for Minority Communities

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In a conference call with community stakeholders Friday, members of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council provided an update on efforts underway to support the minority communities most impacted by COVID-19 – both in terms of health and economics.  

United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson spoke to the socio-economic factors in play and the need to take a more holistic approach to protect minority communities from the negative effects of COVID-19. Secretary Carson acknowledged the collaboration across many agencies to consistently monitor and develop solutions to long-standing disparities in underserved communities which amplify impacts of crisis like this.

“When we’re looking at things like health disparity, we want to be absolutely certain that we don’t just take a superficial look,” said Secretary Carson. 

United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams followed by emphasizing the importance and effectiveness of social distancing practices in combatting the virus’ spread. While the disproportionate impact on minority communities is alarming, Adams said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. He notes that priorities should be shifted to not only support the recovery from COVID-19 in these communities but also to creating infrastructure to prevent future crises. Adams also asserted that misinformation poses a significant risk during this crisis, encouraging listeners to visit whitehouse.gov/openingamerica for resources and guidance on safely returning to normalcy.

Small Business Administration Regional Director Ashley Bell also shared his insight on efforts to secure accessible support for black- and minority-owned businesses for community health. Bell noted how the $30 billion in additional federal funding for smaller institutions like credit unions is a step forward for ensuring businesses get the support they need during and after this crisis. His team is also conducting nationwide outreach to locate institutions accepting loan applications and connecting them with businesses who may not have previously had access.

The conversation concluded with emphasis on the need to support the physical and economic health of the hardest-hit communities in order to ensure resilience and prosperity in the future.

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