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Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen reflects on the economic impact of the past year’s events in this holiday special for WRAL TechWire.

Federal, state and local governments worked hard to support businesses as they faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic — and many of these programs were successful in helping small businesses stay open. In a recent UNC School of Government Carolina Across 100 blog post, Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown breaks down how the government at all levels stepped up to the challenge.

North Carolina’s small businesses provide economic mobility and crucial services in local communities that foster innovation and drive economic growth — a vital role that has been largely affected by COVID-19. In a recent UNC School of Government Carolina Across 100 blog post, Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown sheds light on the impact – and a potential benefit – the pandemic has had on small businesses across the state.

UNC Tax Center Research Director and Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Jeff Hoopes, along with more than 200 accounting and tax experts, penned a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to change a proposed minimum corporate tax that would be tied to a company’s book income reported to investors. The proposal, the experts wrote in the letter, risks politicizing accounting rules and complicating tax calculations.

Dr. Gerald Cohen brings nearly 30 years of high-profile private and public sector experience to the institute, where he is taking a leading role in forwarding Kenan Institute’s mission and translational research efforts.

A survey of 39 accounting academics conducted by UNC Tax Center Research Director Jeff Hoopes was featured in the Oct. 28 New York Times DealBook Newsletter. In the survey, Hoopes asked respondents if they would support Senator Elizabeth Warren's Real Corporate Profits Tax.

A $2 million grant from the Truist Foundation will fund the Anchor Institutions Create Economic Resilience program, or AICER, housed at CREATE, an economic development center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The AICER program works with anchor institutions – such as universities, tribal and local governments, and hospitals – to source their goods and services from minority-owned firms, rural businesses and local suppliers in COVID-impacted communities.

Former Kenan Institute Center for Sustainable Enterprise Research Associate and current ACTIVEST Co-founder Napoleon Wallace's latest project was recently featured in a New York Times DealBook newsletter piece. The article discusses the rating system his company is developing, which reassesses the traditional value of municipal bonds based on social and justice factors like policing, education, healthcare and affordability.

CREATE Faculty Director and UNC Public Policy Professor Maryann Feldman recently served as a panelist examining conditions for technology-based economic development. While speaking to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Sept. 29, Feldman cautioned against treating universities as lynchpins in the effort to drive regional innovation—noting reforms are needed to help university technology transfer offices recoup operating costs—and strongly advocated for new financing models to spur economic development in areas lacking venture capital support.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor of Finance and CREATE Faculty Director Maryann Feldman's latest report – co-authored with Simona Iammarino, Carolin Ioramashvili and Frederick Guy – is leading coverage of the ways in which Big Tech is radically changing the Triangle's startup ecosystem.

Christian Lundblad, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor of Finance and Kenan Institute Director of Research, joined WRAL's Debra Morgan to discuss the state's uneven economic recovery due to employee fear of being exposed to coronavirus. Lundblad said business vaccine mandates will help alleviate those fears and draw more people back to work.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Professor of Finance Paige Ouimet was recently interviewed by The Atlantic on the ramifications of a 2019 Colorado labor law requiring all companies to include salary details in job postings. The law, which was intended to ensure women and underrepresented minorities don’t lowball themselves when negotiating salaries, has been met with a surprising amount of resistance from business – with a number of top U.S. companies now hiring remote workers everywhere but Colorado.