Legislature’s ARPA plan disappoints advocates

With both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the state Senate having passed their spending plans for federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds, advocates are left disappointed in the lack of investment into Black-owned and other minority-owned businesses in the wake of coronavirus economic fallout.

Leading up to the rollout of lawmakers’ plans, members of the Coalition for an Equitable Economy, which includes more than 60 statewide organizations, local community-based organizations, business associations and other individual small business supporters, came together to ask lawmakers to include $1.1 billion to support Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-owned and women-owned small businesses through grants, lower-cost loans from community lenders and banks, equity investments and expanded technical assistance.

The amounts included in each body’s plans don’t come close to that figure. The House plan includes $60 million in targeted spending aimed at women, minorities or veterans and businesses that are focused


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