Why minority-owned small businesses may need extra COVID recovery boost

RICHMOND, Va. — Small businesses are recognized as the backbone of the economy which is why helping them rebound is critical to Central Virginia’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Minority-owned businesses, specifically, might need an extra boost.

Nestled in Richmond’s East End is J&G Workforce Development Services.

“We’re located in the heart of one of our low-income communities,” said CEO and president, Grace Washington. “We have to be accessible to the residents, because that’s who we want to assist in improving their lives.”

Grace Washington


Grace Washington

Much of Washington’s work involves connecting minorities to jobs. As a Black business leader herself, she knows firsthand that career success for people of color can be an uphill battle sometimes.

“Whether it be reentry, or substance abuse, or mental health, lack of skills, lack of education, whatever those barriers are, we can get them into the system and start them on a career

Read More

USTA: New forecast signals long road to recovery for business travel

Lingering COVID restrictions and a patchwork approach to reopening across the country will prevent the economically crucial business travel segment from recovering until at least 2024, according to a Tourism Economics analysis from the U.S. Travel Association.

Travel overall is by far the U.S. industry hardest hit by the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending on travel for large, in-person professional meetings and events (PMEs) declined by 76% last year—a $97 billion loss in spending.

With vaccinations and infection rates in the U.S. trending favorably, restrictions lowered and traveler confidence rebounding, domestic leisure travel is projected to reach 99% of its pre-pandemic peak in 2022 and to grow steadily thereafter.

But in the absence of clear and consistent guidance from federal health authorities on PMEs, business-related travel is not expected to recover its pre-pandemic volume for an additional two years. Only about a third (35%) of U.S. businesses are

Read More

FEMA registration centers aim to aid in flood recovery efforts

INEZ, Ky. (WYMT) – With many people still searching for help after severe weather poured through the state earlier this year, FEMA is offering face-to-face help to ease the burden.

Registration help centers are open in several places across the region, with FEMA representatives working to help those impacted by the flooding events from February 27 through March 14.

“I think it’s very satisfying to know that you are helping people, you know, on the road to recovery, because they’ve been devastated by loss,” said FEMA representative Hattie Stallworth.

Though the process has been open for months to allow people to apply for individual assistance, not everyone is comfortable with the online application, so this face-to-face option is making it more convenient for many. Including Inez woman Kathleen Collins, whose home was impacted by the floodwaters.

“I have never lost a bridge. You know, the bridge was completely washed

Read More

UCLA Forecasts Rapid Economic Recovery from Pandemic in California

Patrons pack Blanco Tacos Tequila on the second floor of Fashion Valley on Feb. 6, 2021.
Outdoor patrons pack Blanco Tacos Tequila on the second floor of Fashion Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

The easing of the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid lifting of restrictions on business activity and public gatherings point to a more rapid economic recovery for the state than initially predicted, according to a UCLA Anderson School of Management forecast released Wednesday.

But uncertainties still remain in the lingering effects of the pandemic, along with outside factors such as national immigration policy, according to the report. And while California’s strict restrictions have pushed the state’s unemployment rate higher than the national average, such stringent responses to the pandemic appear to have resulted in better health and economic outcomes than states with looser restrictions.

“The roll out of multiple vaccines as well as the general easing of the number of new cases from the latest peak suggests a reduced economic impact of the pandemic in

Read More