As we turned the corner into 2020, Pacific Community Ventures’ work has never been more crucial to the communities we serve. The coronavirus pandemic wiped out 22 million jobs — 10 years of job growth — in the first four weeks, with an additional 37 million jobs vulnerable to layoffs and tens of millions of small businesses in danger of closing. The pace of this economic collapse is so staggering that the Great Depression is the only comparison. The most vulnerable and underserved people and places — particularly lower-income workers and communities of color — yet again find their financial and physical health at risk. We must all do more to stand with the black community, and ally our assets in solidarity — now more than ever.
Times of crisis force us to dig deep in so many ways, and test us in new ways. CDFIs like PCV are responding to borrowers in crisis in communities from coast to coast.
Throughout 2019, unemployment was at a record low and job growth had been steady for 10 years. But a decade of growth built on bad jobs and ignoring those who fall out of the job market entirely has had implications for our whole country. While this crisis has created enormous challenges, it also represents a unique opportunity to change a system where working people deemed “essential” are earning poverty-level wages and live without paid leave or health benefits for themselves or their families. The speed at which this pandemic has affected small businesses, which employ almost 50% of Americans, shows us how fragile our economy truly is.
Pacific Community Ventures’ 2019 Impact Report details how our programs can empower small business owners, working people, and community-focused investors across the country through a good jobs agenda. We help small business owners grow and create good jobs through our “Good Jobs, Good Business” model that combines affordable loans with pro-bono advising, tools and incentives to create quality jobs, our national BusinessAdvising.org mentoring platform, and social impact evaluation and field-building research. As we rapidly respond to support small businesses through this crisis, we remain hopeful that the potential for positive impact we saw in 2019 is a sign of more entrepreneurs and workers starting to prioritize good jobs — something we will all need to advocate for now more than ever.
Our 2019 Good Jobs Report highlights our progress before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and shows how our model can serve as a blueprint for an inclusive recovery. We hope you’ll join us on this journey.