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Ensure Economic Security for Black Greater Grand Rapids

Well before COVID-19, the economic security of Black Greater Grand Rapids was precarious. Black workers have persistently and significantly had higher unemployment, especially in tight labor markets (even as many Black workers find themselves as “essential,” but that has been truly the case with COVID-19.15 Additionally, employment for Black women has seen the sharpest drop amongst all populations. But for those who are able to return, there is Black reluctance to return to work due to economic disparities, health risks, and racist work environments. This economic picture has had significant impacts on the quality of life for Black people, including in the areas of housing and Black businesses.

Over the last year, Black Impact Collaborative was intent on stabilizing the financial well- being of Black families in Greater Grand Rapids; ensuring Black workers were protected from COVID-19 risks at work; protecting Black people from exploitation; and prioritizing Black businesses.