Small businesses have suffered tremendously during the COVID-19 crisis. While cities have tried to provide relief opportunities to help small businesses stay afloat, these efforts are often uncoordinated amongst city departments and usually require businesses to submit separate lengthy applications to multiple agencies. Small businesses are also not always aware of the relief opportunities available to them, resulting in socioeconomic and racial disparities in how business owners are taking up relief opportunities. How can cities better make COVID-19 relief efforts available to small businesses?
On May 25, leaders from the Aspen Tech Policy Hub & Tech Talent Project’s Winter 2021 Tech Executive Leadership Initiative Cohort showcased their projects focused on ‘Helping Small Businesses Access COVID-19 Relief.’ Following the presentations, Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the State of California Office of the Small Business Advocate, gave a keynote address.