Good morning, PCV community,
This week marks my first full year as CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, and what an experience this has been. It has driven home for me the essential nature of our work and our Good Jobs, Good Business model: providing affordable access to capital and free advising for entrepreneurs who have long been under-invested, and need us more than ever. With the mission-driven and impact-first roots that keep their needs first, we continue to look for ways to support our small business owners in being the good job creators they want to be.
We at PCV are committed to approaching the remainder of this crisis and building a new future together from a place of hope, and nothing has given us more hope in the last six months than the amazing community that came together to help us launch the Small Business Support Circle two weeks ago. From DJ Lamont Bransford-Young of Fingersnaps Media Arts welcoming us in with his warm beats, to a virtual tour through our client Lila’s newest cupcake bakery, to a yoga stretching session with Adesina Cash of Hot Spot Yoga Oakland, and music from Anne-Lise Dugas of Anthem Arts, it was a wonderful event. And the circle of corporate and community funders and partners that came together will help bring BusinessAdvising.org to more communities who need it more than ever.
If you weren’t able to attend, you can view the video here. I wanted to extend a special thanks to all of our panelists for sharing their unique perspectives on the role of mentorship in advancing inclusive entrepreneurship: Racheal Meiers of Kaiser Permanente, Jason Vargas of EBALDC, Diego Portillo Mazal of ICIC, Jandah Tolbert of Target, and PCV clients Lila Owens of Cupcakin’ Bake Shop and Kenny Liu of The Realest Group.
For more information about joining the Small Business Support Circle, contact our Business Advising Director, Natalia Carrasco, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re also excited to announce several new members of the Small Business Support Circle as of October! The Hewlett Foundation, Justine Petersen, and SF New Deal have joined us to strengthen small businesses across the country!
As you know, volunteering with PCV’s Business Advising program is the best kind of volunteering: it is 100% remote, leverages the skills you already have, and has a big impact for working people — especially now. So help us spread the word! Refer a colleague, share on social media with these pre-written posts, or get your company involved. Learn more here.
Meeting this moment for PCV means hustling even harder to keep our capital accessible and affordable through this crisis so we can help small businesses recover and build toward a better and more resilient future ahead, lifting up their workers with them. It means making sure we’re doing this in a way that centers Black and Brown entrepreneurs’ needs in ways that the financial system has never done, and that CDFIs like us were born to do. With no end to this pandemic in sight yet, we continue to provide crisis response support while preparing for how we can show up even better to shape a more inclusive recovery for our business owners and their workers.
7.3 million Black workers can’t earn a single paid sick day — that’s roughly 40% of Black employees. And these numbers are even higher within the Latinx community. Despite having the “highest labor force participation rate of any racial or ethnic group in the US and the fastest-growing segment of the workforce,” almost 15 million Latinx workers are unable to earn a single paid sick day. People of color start more businesses than anyone else, and by helping them create jobs that offer health benefits from the jump, we can be part of the solution in communities of color.
We know how important advocating for our small business community is during normal circumstances, but it’s absolutely critical during times of crisis such as this year. Behind the scenes, myself and the PCV team have been working with the California Rebuilding Fund, Small Business Majority, Opportunity Finance Network, the Responsible Lending Coalition, and the Page 30 Coalition. We’ve advocated and testified at the state and federal level on behalf of our small business owners. If there’s anything you want us to make sure is shared on your behalf, both at the state level here in California or at Congress, please tell us in our next Listening Session. Bookmark our events calendar for the next one.
In the coming weeks we’ll be issuing a new discussion paper entitled “Meeting the Moment: U.S. Impact Investing Policy, Inequality and COVID-19 Recovery.” COVID-19 has presented new opportunities for impact investors, working in concert with policymakers, to find sustainable solutions to address inequality. Impact investors must rise to meet this moment, helping the country build back better by making targeted investments that build wealth, especially among Black, Brown, Indigenous, and rural communities and women. Our new paper will lay out a series of impact investing policy ideas that the Federal government can explore to address inequality and support COVID-19 recovery efforts in the U.S. Sign up here to receive the discussion paper.
Last but not least, I’m grateful that as I mark my first year as PCV’s CEO, these three new board members have agreed to join us for the journey ahead:
Speaking of boards, I’m excited to be a Board Candidate for Opportunity Finance Network this year. As a first-time CDFI CEO, I have learned a lot this year from fellow CDFI leaders this year, and through this unprecedented economic and racial justice crisis in our country. I very much hope to bring my skills and background in impact investing and catalytic capital, my policy work in and out of the US Government, and my passion for equity and justice to the board and to the OFN member community. If you are a CDFI member of OFN, I would be honored to have your vote. You can see more about my ideas here.
President & CEO, Pacific Community Ventures