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Unequal pandemic aid to Latino businesses in Massachusetts, report by Dr. Marcos Luna and GIS grad student Amina Miliani

Results presented at State House News event in Boston with Amplify Latinx and Mass Budget

On Wednesday, January 31, Dr. Marcos Luna (geography and sustainability) presented results of a report that he and graduate Geo-Information Science student Amina Miliani authored in collaboration with Amplify LatinX and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center investigating the landscape of micro-businesses (businesses with 10 or fewer employees) and the distribution of nearly $19 billion in federal pandemic aid - in the form of forgivable loans - to small businesses across Massachusetts. The analysis shows that while most of the loans went to micro-businesses, nearly a quarter of all the federal money to the state was captured by the 1% of "small" businesses with 100 or more employees. Equally important, the analysis shows that loans were disproportionately concentrated in middle and higher income communities, while moderate and lower income communities, particularly communities of color, saw below average loan distributions. The disparities were especially high for businesses owned by Latinos and women.

The report was presented at “The Massachusetts Latino Electoral Project and Economic Empowerment Summit: Building a Brighter Future” event at the MCLE in downtown Boston, and hosted by Amplify LatinX — a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing Latino leadership and representation — in partnership with MassBudget, Salem State University, and the State House News Service.

The event was reported in the State House News and MassLive, and a State House News view a recording of the event.

Marcos Luna
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