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April 2020 | Amplifying the Need for Equity and Inclusion in the Wake of COVID-19

Above anything else, we hope that you and your families are staying safe during this time.

As Karp Strategies works at full speed from home, we are energized to leverage our community economic development know-how to be part of the recovery solution. As always, our team is particularly committed to championing economic development efforts that preserve the livelihoods of those most at risk. Minority and women-owned businesses are integral drivers of our economy. With this in mind, we are inspired to share resources to help push for an inclusive recovery and connect these small businesses with the support they need. As a small, woman-owned business, this moment has also made clear the importance of engaging with our network and supporting one another. 

We encourage you to reach out if we can be of help and to learn more about the ways Karp Strategies is building stronger cities in these challenging times.


A Reflection from Karp Strategies Managing Principal & CEO, Rebecca Karp

"It feels trite to write that we are experiencing unprecedented times — but there is little other way to describe where we are. The COVID-19 outbreak is shaking society to its core. As a consultant, this means continuing to advise and support cities, developers, private companies, and non-profits on how to move their projects forward, and more often, how to do so with equity, safety, and business continuity at the fore. In real time, we are advising our clients and partners to participate in and support many of the same programs and practices that Karp Strategies is participating in as a small business." - Rebecca Karp Read Rebecca's full reflection on our blog


Small Business Resources

Federal and local governments have committed to providing financial assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Here is a list of programs that may be helpful to you or someone you know:

SBA Subsidy Loan Program

A program providing immediate relief to small businesses with existing SBA loans that were borrowed prior to the pandemic.

Initial funds have run out for the following programs, but the government is anticipated to replenish these, making them worth monitoring. 

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

A loan available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to cover business costs including employee payroll, rent, insurance, paid sick leave or medical leave, interest on mortgage obligations and utilities. 

SBA Economic Disaster Loan Learn more A loan to available small businesses and nonprofits to overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.  NYC Small Business Services Continuity Loan Program Learn more A loan for NYC businesses with fewer than 100 employees and those that can demonstrate a 25% decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.


In the news: Don’t Leave Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Out of the Bailout

As a small business owner and community development consultant, Rebecca shared a call for fair and meaningful policy as the best path forward in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent Op Ed in Crain’s. The article considers the impact of the pandemic on small businesses—especially minority and women-owned businesses—and recommends policy and program changes to ensure that the recovery process is inclusive and equitable for those that will need it most.

“Minority and women-owned businesses in particular, who often run their businesses with fewer resources in the bank, a weaker social and professional network, and less access to loans and investments, are already disadvantaged. Proactive planning to survive the next economic disaster is critical.” - Rebecca Karp, CEO + Managing Principal, Karp Strategies

Read the full article on our blog


Supporting Inclusive Change at Inerise 2020

When the Karp Strategies team was still meeting in person with our colleagues from across the country, Rebecca Karp and Cheryl Lim attended Interise 2020. The conference, in Boston, convened a national conversation about building inclusive economies—a topic particularly relevant as the world faces unprecedented economic challenges. Rebecca presented a keynote SolveIt talk, Building Diverse Economies & Stronger Cities. In her presentation, Rebecca challenged attendees to consider obstacles to equitable economic development and advocated for supporting the growth of minority and women-owned businesses, and including local communities in economic development initiatives. Rebecca and Cheryl also attended a presentation by Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, about including women of color in the innovation economy, and a talk by Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack, who spoke about equity and family-owned business. These important dialogues reinforced the team’s attention to the systematic challenges, including structural inequality and racism, that undermine fair growth. 

Learn more about Rebecca and Cheryl’s experience at Interise 2020 by watching Rebecca speak withKelly Burton, CEO,Founders of Color, about Karp Strategies' 'data, people, place' methodology here and reading our blog post about key lessons learned.


Celebrating Change Agents at the Coro New York Leadership Virtual Gala: Monday, April 27

Karp Strategies has long been an advocate of the Coro New York Leadership Center and its unmatched network of civic changemakers. In times of crisis, we rely on our communities more than ever: Coro is nothing if not an immense and dynamic community of problem solvers— many of whom are working at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Karp Strategies is proud to be a corporate sponsor of Coro in 2020 and joyously invites you to join us at Coro’s annual gala, which will be held virtually on Monday, April 27 from 6:30-7:30 PM. We invite our partners, clients, and friends, and anyone interested in learning about Coro to celebrate the work of this incredible organization alongside us. RSVP here — we hope to see you at our virtual table!

The Leadership New York program for mid-career professionals is recruiting now. Many of our own team members — Rebecca Karp, Jen Becker, Ali Sutherland-Brown, Tania Marinos — are alumni of Coro programs. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, learn more here


Looking Forward

As we look ahead to what comes next in the time of COVID-19, nobody can predict what will come for our economies, our workforce, and our communities. What we do know is that this is a time to lead with compassion, empathy, and grace; to check in with each other — our immediate and broader communities; and to consider how we can use our skills to contribute to the recovery. Karp Strategies believes that we must continue to collaborate, and that as the pandemic demonstrates even more starkly the inequity and inequality so many face, recovery efforts must be inclusive, equitable, and attainable for people, small businesses, and communities. We look forward to working with you to be part of this solution. 

Want to continue the conversation? We’d love to hear from you. As always, we welcome the opportunity to attend events with your network of partners and clients or to work with you. Feel free to drop us a line at


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