Apr 20

The racial and socioeconomic disparities emerging from the coronavirus pandemic have become a major story across the nation, exposing longstanding inequities and the highlighting the unequal burden placed on communities of color. If we are committed to an inclusive recovery for all Americans, we must pay attention and take action. This is of utmost importance in Cuyahoga County, which was identified in an April 2020 McKinsey study to be one of 72 out of 3,115 counties in the U.S. facing the highest risk for “outsized disruption” in the black community due to COVID-19.

In a series of articles and posts, the GCP Equity & Inclusion team is highlighting how coronavirus is disproportionately affecting people of color and offering suggestions and best practices on how we can respond in ways that promote equity, inclusion and social justice in our region and beyond.

In this post, we’re calling on our business leaders to #payitforward—an initiative asking large companies with flexible balance sheets to immediately pay their small business vendors, helping them stay afloat for the next 30 days and pay their employees as best they can. This is particularly critical for those in the hard-hit hospitality, retail and service industries—where workers of color are over-represented—as well as those operating in communities that already lack resources, where people are working with fewer benefits, lower wages and limited protections. For communities of color, the labor market is unstable when the economy is strong and dangerously volatile when it is not.

Learn more at the Best Practices Library.