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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Please join us for an exclusive virtual conversation with North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.

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.

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.

As the pandemic forced shutdowns across the globe, U.S. government entities at the federal, state and local levels worked swiftly to secure known drivers of economic growth and job creation – including entrepreneurial ecosystems and small businesses. And while the programs implemented were widely lauded as successful, the story of who benefitted – and who did not – is more complex. This week’s Kenan Insight explores our experts’ key findings around the roles of policy and implementation in supporting equal access to opportunity.

The CREATE center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with the AOM Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) division, is pleased to organize the “Emergence: Organizations, Markets, Platforms, and Regions” conference. The conference seeks to unpack the processes of emergence and re-emergence that are core to creating prosperous economies.

Join UNC and OHUB for an evening of fun, connection and learning. If you have been reading about the full DEI Solutions (DEIS) Certificate Program and are curious about whether it’s right for you, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Hear from top leaders who are skilled at incorporating DEI solutions in their companies and learn about a helpful framework to support those efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased economic inequities in a number of ways, including in access to external capital – and while 2020 marked a break-out year for venture-backed firms, the pandemic hit many main street businesses hard. In this Kenan Insight, we explore the forces driving the haves and have-nots in this new economic climate, as well as actionable policy solutions as government support programs wind down.

As the U.S. economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses grapple with ongoing labor shortages, the debate around increasing the federal minimum wage – which hasn’t budged in over a decade – has returned to the fore. In this Kenan Insight, we examine whether now is the right time to raise the standard minimum, why these benefits may come at a cost, and what approach might work best given the inevitable tradeoffs.

In a recent ABC-11 news feature, Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown weighed in on the proliferation of new businesses formed in North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Little, executive director of CREATE, was recently profiled in an article by Rice University, his alma mater. The article highlights Little’s varied career and collaborative approach to his work.

As a second wave of COVID-19 cases makes its way around the world, the danger to the U.S. economy is clear. In this Kenan Insight, we examine the potentially damaging effects of the ongoing pandemic on an already battered workforce, and make the case for why Congress must act quickly to ensure economic stability.