This report analyzes the equity and efficiency challenges of the Small Business Administration’s lending programs. As America has slowly recovered from the Great Recession, the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 programs have grown and supported over $122 billion in private loans to America’s small businesses. However, during this period of SBA loan dollar expansion, lending rates for African American firms have decreased while loan guarantee assistance increased or remained relatively stable for other racial and ethnic group owned firms. This report recommends an emerging market program to address racial lending inequities and suggests further research to better document the ways in which SBA lending contributes to America’s prosperity.
The Roadmap Initiative
The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Economic Future was an initiative that investigated key aspects of the Washington area’s regional economy. This region remains overly dependent on federal spending as its principal driver of high wage employment growth. The research investigated the region’s core, non-federally dependent industrial clusters, highlighted the main business constraints across these clusters, and assessed the current state and local economic development policy landscape that targets these business growth sectors. The research concludes with policy reforms to advance the DC regional economy.
Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC is the most comprehensive volume on the contemporary economic conditions in DC. We released the book on February 25, 2016 to a packed audience. At the event, editors Derek Hyra and Sabiyha Prince spoke about the complex circumstances driving the recent economic advancement of Washington, DC as well as how the city’s history of inequality relates to its current pattern of neighborhood gentrification. The book launch also featured Parisa Norouzi of Empower DC and Dominic Moulden of ONE DC who provided insights into how the book’s findings could be translated to practical, equitable development policy responses to mitigate the city’s growing social and economic inequalities. The Capital Dilemma for DC, and other major cities, is how to produce economic development and growth that is more equally shared among its residents. Since the book launch, several of the contributing authors have spoken about the book at DC venues including Busboys & Poets, The Potter’s House, All Souls Church, the Anacostia Smithsonian Community Museum, and the Historical Society of Washington, DC. The book has also been incorporated into classes focused on the development of the nation’s capital at Georgetown University, American University, and the University of Maryland.
For long-time residents of Washington, DC’s Shaw/U Street, the neighborhood has become almost unrecognizable in recent years. Where the city’s most infamous open-air drug market once stood, a farmers’ market now sells grass-fed beef and homemade duck egg ravioli. On the corner where AM.PM carryout used to dish out soul food, a new establishment markets its $28 foie gras burger. Shaw is experiencing a dramatic transformation, from “ghetto” to “gilded ghetto,” where white newcomers are rehabbing homes, developing dog parks, and paving the way for a third wave coffee shop on nearly every block. Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City is an in-depth ethnography of this gilded ghetto. Derek Hyra captures here a quickly gentrifying space in which long-time black residents are joined, and variously displaced, by an influx of young, white, relatively wealthy, and/or gay professionals who, in part as a result of global economic forces and the recent development of central business districts, have returned to the cities earlier generations fled decades ago. As a result, America is witnessing the emergence of what Hyra calls “cappuccino cities.” A cappuccino has essentially the same ingredients as a cup of coffee with milk, but is considered upscale and double the price. In Hyra’s cappuccino city, the black inner-city neighborhood undergoes enormous transformations and becomes racially “lighter” and more expensive by the year. This book offers several policy recommendations to make mixed-income, mixed-race communities more equitable and just.