Let’s start with a bonus resource! I know I shared this on my last blog (The Myth of Best Practices), but if you aren’t partnering with and leveraging your regional Federal Reserve Bank’s community development arm, you are missing out on some great resources! In June, the Cleveland Fed hosted a Policy Summit, and all of the presentations are here. I wanted to share three resources that I learned about at the Summit that support communities trying to foster inclusive economic growth.
Across the country, communities are having conversations about stagnant wages and the struggle for even full-time workers to meet their basic needs and cost of living. Economic development organizations are often reticent to engage employers in this conversation, not wanting to put the blame on the companies who are usually also their investors. But the Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation has created a Toolkit to allow economic development organization’s to have a proactive and creative conversation about how employers can help front-line workers in particular, without necessarily having to raise wages. By restructuring benefits to make them more accessible and and policies to reflect the reality of low-income workers’ lives, employers can help employees address basic needs and enhance their quality of life, and in the process, increase their employee satisfaction and retention.
If you are trying to convince your colleagues why focusing on inclusive growth is important, or trying to figure out where to begin in working on these issues, chances are you are searching for data. The Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) Scorecard has you covered, with easily accessible data on wealth and income, business and jobs, housing, healthcare, and education. Don’t stop there though, Prosperity Now’s website is chock full of other resources.
Okay, this isn’t a resource per se, but a start-up that is tackling a problem that I, admittedly, didn’t even realize existed. Did you know that many would-be homeowners are prevented from building wealth because the home they are looking to purchase is too cheap to get a mortgage? Because bank fees don’t cover the cost of processing mortgages below, generally, $80,000, potential homeowners - often those in African American neighborhoods that have been disinvested in because of discriminatory lending policies - are unable to benefit from this critical path to wealth building. Hurry Home is working with investors to address this challenge, starting in their hometown of South Bend.
Know of other great resources to support efforts to create inclusive growth? Let us know! We are always looking to learn more!