ACCELERATE El Paso is a strategic initiative led by the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society program to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Latino-majority cities and communities in the U.S through local data, and to accelerate the recovery of small businesses by leveraging federal stimulus funding and related opportunities for long-term growth.
Across the U.S, Latino-majority cities and communities are striving to advance equitable small business recovery and to stimulate opportunities for long-term growth in the devastating wake of COVID-19. The success of these efforts will turn on the availability of quality local data and the collaborative strength of communities facing similar challenges.
ACCELERATE El Paso is a strategic initiative led by the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society program, in partnership with Drexel University’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Christopher Gergen, the CEO of impact investment firm, Forward Impact and Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow, to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on El Paso’s economy and accelerate the recovery of small businesses by navigating federal stimulus funding and other opportunities for long-term growth.
Even before COVID-19, an El Paso small business owner who was looking for support would find resources that were, at best, fragmented at best and, at worst, incomplete. ACCELERATE El Paso’s Steering Committee will help address that gap. Working in partnership with the City of El Paso and El Paso County, the Steering Committee will bring together leaders from the public, private, and civic sectors in El Paso to help guide the project and identify funding opportunities.
Our community, and our Latino-owned and operated businesses, need support and guidance in this challenging moment of transition and regrowth. ACCELERATE El Paso will help our city utilize data and align ecosystem priorities through a community-informed process to ensure our economy receives the stimulus funding it needs to thrive again.
Through this initiative, the coalition will:
This initiative draws on quality data and collaboration that helps us make informed decisions about how to best stabilize and grow El Paso’s Latino small business economy and identify sources of funding to implement these priorities.
COVID-19 had a negative impact across a majority of small businesses and a disproportionate impact on Hispanic-owned businesses (HOBs).
However, data shows the pandemic widened a gap that already existed among Hispanic-owned businesses in El Paso. These gaps in the business ecosystem are jeopardizing long-term wealth-building opportunities for Hispanics.
This is a pivotal moment for the El Paso economy. While the aftermath of COVID-19 created disruption and loss, resulting in inequities and widening existing gaps – federal investment in economy-shaping activities is at an all-time high.