Ensuring Fairness and Diversity in Business Investments

Small diverse businesses have historically faced extensive challenges both in resources available and accessing federal and state funding. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated these challenges and showed that we need to do more to help ensure small diverse businesses get the resources they need. The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion to all business owners who seek assistance, but especially those that are disenfranchised. DCED will strive to ensure that funding to minority-owned and woman-owned businesses – through both existing DCED programs and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs – are distributed fairly and equitably.

Data-Driven Decision Making

DCED will support and work to sustain diverse businesses that have been impacted not just by COVID-19, but by other historic systemic barriers to access funding. By using data-driven metrics, we will measure the process and progress to reaching those small disenfranchised businesses in Pennsylvania both now and in the future.

Metrics

Moving forward, the below list of metrics will be obtained and used to review the outreach, awards, and outcomes of relevant DCED programs. This will be done in both the short term (through the CARES Act programs) and long term (existing DCED programs) to measure success of reaching new businesses.

  • Number of minority-owned businesses assisted
  • Number of woman-owned businesses assisted
  • Number of jobs created and retained by MBEs/WBEs receiving assistance
  • Percentage of minority-owned businesses assisted against estimated representation in county small diverse business and county diverse population estimates
  • Percentage of minority-owned businesses assisted against estimated representation in regional small diverse business and regional diverse population estimates
  • Percentage of woman-owned businesses assisted against estimated representation in county woman owned small business and county female population estimates
  • Percentage of woman-owned businesses assisted against estimated representation in regional woman owned business and regional female population estimates

It’s important to note that while this is the first step we need to take to ensure that our funding is distributed fairly, it is certainly not the last step. A dedicated team within DCED is working on additional strategies to ensure we are reaching minority-owned and woman-owned businesses, and additional plans will be shared in the near future.

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