Small Business Support Cohort Program :: Wayne County Community Foundation
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Small Business Support Cohort Program

Philadelphia’s Racial Equity and Small Business Support Cohort Program

Wayne County Cohort Joins the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Racial Equity and Small Business Support Cohort Program

The Wayne County Community Foundation, along with six other community organizations, is proud to announce its participation as a cohort in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s second annual Reinventing Our Communities cohort program, focused on an equitable small business recovery and supporting small business owners of color disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This 10-month program is for The Wayne County Cohort to:

      Develop policy solutions to financing and access to credit for small business owners of color;

      Promote small business ownership as a means of building wealth for business owners and their communities;

      Support small businesses to scale to become employers; and

      Develop a multiyear racial equity plan for small business recovery and growth.

“Small businesses play many roles in the U.S. economy as drivers of job growth and innovation, creators of employment opportunities, and engines for building regional economies,” said Theresa Singleton, senior vice president of the Community Development and Regional Outreach Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. “However, the pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of small businesses, especially small businesses owned by people of color, and created urgency around the need for equitable support. We are excited to work with The Wayne County Cohort on approaches that prioritize racial equity in their small business support.”

The Wayne County Cohort, consisting of representatives from the Wayne County Community Foundation, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, the Wayne Library Alliance, the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance, the Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO), Wayne Tomorrow!, and Lackawanna College, will participate in racial equity training led by Race Forward, a nonprofit racial justice organization, and in smaller group trainings with practitioners with small business expertise. The goal is for the cohorts to identify structural barriers that they face as small business owners of color and create a plan to address these barriers tailored to where they are located.

As stated by Ryanne Jennings, Executive Director of the Wayne County Community Foundation and Wayne County Cohort lead, “We hope to better support small businesses in their efforts to attract and retain workers and to prioritize racial equity in their business models. As a community made up of small businesses, the impact will be significant, putting racial equity at the very heart of how our community grows and thrives.”

More information about the 2021 ROC cohort program will be forthcoming on www.philadelphiafed.org.

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