Carnegie Mellon University

Future Cities 2021

Route Fifty Future Cities 2021

Metro21 attended the editorial session "Rebuilding Main Street: The American Rescue Plan in Action" at the Route Fifty Future Cities 2021 digital event on July 29, 2021. 

Local small businesses bore the brunt of the economic effects of the pandemic forcing many to close their doors forever. The new wave of federal investments offers a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the spirit of entrepreneurship within communities and help rebuild Main Street America. 

Speakers included:

Discussion highlights:

Lourdes German:

  • Tax revenue to support small businesses, because they give a community its sense of personality
  • The ecosystem of a community helps guild the economic development
    • The American Rescue Plan can help to provide additional support
  • The role of community-based banks is important
    • Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) have been big heroes of the pandemic
 Erika Strassburger:
  • Employee ownership coalition/support will build wealth for employees and is building local wealth in communities and for underserved employees
  • ARP funding to support small and minority businesses in Pittsburgh
  • COVID showed that the streets can be safer to support “streeteries” in neighborhoods
    • Provides support to local business
  • Social/human infrastructure is important, as well as physical, and is especially critical for small businesses (child care, elder care, etc)

Find the recording of this and other sessions of the Route Fifty Future Cities 2021 event here.