Next Street Spearheads Historic Economic Opportunity Coalition To Align Historic Investment In Communities Of Color Across The United States
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Next Street Spearheads Historic Economic Opportunity Coalition To Align Historic Investment In Communities Of Color Across The United States

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(Photo: Lawrence Jackson via Wikimedia)

Next Street, a mission-driven solutions firm helping every small business reach its potential, today announced the formation of a historic Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC) committed to aligning major investments in communities of color with investments made by the BidenHarris Administration.

Primarily organized by Next Street’s managing partner (and former interim chief of the Small Business Administration), Michael Roth, in partnership with the Office of Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House, the EOC is made up of executive leaders from Ariel Investments, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Capital One, Citi, Discover, Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Google, Key Bank, Kresge Foundation, Mastercard, McDonald’s, McKinsey & Company, Micron, Momentus Capital, Moody’s, Netflix, Next Street, PayPal, PNC, Rockefeller Foundation, TIAA, and Upstart.

EOC members have already made tens of billions of dollars of commitments investing in CDFIs (community development and financial institutions) supporting entrepreneurship and minority-owned businesses, improving financial health, and making infrastructure investments that create more community wealth. These commitments signal a promising new era in historic investment to close the wealth gap in the U.S. But EOC members acknowledge they must do more. They will align those major investments in underserved communities with those made by the Biden-Harris Administration for maximum impact.

“The EOC as designed by Next Street will coordinate across public, private, and social sector organizations to develop and deploy new products and services that solve issues in getting resources where they are most needed and hold itself accountable for meaningful action,” said Roth.

“We have designed the EOC to be different than other efforts that have not lived up to the promises and media hype around them. The EOC is focused on quality of impact over quantity of dollars, creating alignment and synergies between the private, social and public sectors, and creating accountability.”

Next Street leveraged its deep expertise in small business, responsible capital provision and racial equity to ensure the EOC is uniquely positioned to create positive outcomes  for communities of color. Next Street drew on its nearly 20 years of expertise developing small business solutions, reaching over four million small businesses, extensive network of national and local small business advocates, operators and investors and expertise advising over half of the community development finance market.

In addition to the Vice President’s office, government agencies collaborating with the EOC include the Treasury Department, National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Economic Development Administration.

“For too long, communities of color have had their economic progress impeded or stagnated by systematic racism, which shows up in how all American institutions work with communities of color,” said Charisse Conanan Johnson, managing partner, Next Street.

“As a person of color, I have personally and professionally experienced  how deeply entrenched these obstacles are, and know it will require collective commitment from the most senior levels of government, corporations and philanthropy to make meaningful change. Thanks to the support of the Biden-Harris administration and our EOC partners, we hope to shift the conditions that have held communities of color back. While we may be limited in our ability to change the injustices of the past, we can strive to change the course of the future, and EOC plays a key role toward that goal.”

Next Street has also led engagement with social sector advisors, including African American Alliance of CDFIs, Appalachian Community Capital, Enterprise Community Partners, Financial Health Network, Hope Credit Union, Momentus Capital, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Bankers Association, Opportunity Finance Network, Policy Link, Prosperity Now, SaverLife, The Resurrection Project, TruFund, and Urban Institute.

On Thursday, July 28, an event will be held at Restoration Plaza in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, N.Y. to announce the launch of the EOC, its members and the four workstream areas. Over the coming months, the EOC will build on investments the Biden-Harris Administration has made and develop new solutions that reimagine how capital, technology, and talent are deployed in underserved communities. Significant milestones and one-two initiatives arising from each workstream will be announced later this year.


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