A new grant from Wells Fargo will support efforts by researchers affiliated with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs to determine best practices and policy solutions to benefit businesses operated by persons of color.

The award, which totals $500,000, will go to the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative and the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge for research aimed at increasing access to capital, technology and environmentally sustainable practices for these businesses.

The groups will focus on understanding how to broaden access to financial services and technology tools for business owners. They will also explore how to best leverage public, private and social partnerships to boost the entrepreneurship potential of small businesses owned by Latinos and other people of color. The findings will lead to more informed decisions about post-COVID economic recovery policy relating to minority-owned businesses.

“COVID-19’s disparate impact on small business owners of color highlighted the enduring legacy of structural barriers that impede economic opportunity and social mobility for large swaths of working Americans,” said Maria Samaniego, deputy director of the Lationo Policy and Politics Initiative.

“This grant will allow us to develop policy research and resources that are specifically tailored to the needs of communities of color, which have the power to transform small business ownership in ways that will drive our economy for generations.”

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