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Within the Latino community, the economic challenges are particularly daunting. Latinos have one of the highest labor force participation rates but are at risk of increased unemployment given their concentration in industries affected by closures, including leisure and hospitality. Nearly half of Hispanics (49%) already report that someone in their household lost their job or experienced a pay cut due to the virus outbreak. To ensure that millions of Latinos have access to economic relief to support themselves and their families, we need to:
Ensure access to emergency economic support for all workers
All taxpaying families, including those with immigrants, need and deserve to receive the vital support of direct relief payments, unemployment benefits, and other economic assistance. Immigrants fill an outsized share of the jobs deemed “essential” in our economy which are keeping Americans alive and fed during the crisis, yet are expected to be disproportionately hit by the pandemic. It would be morally unconscionable and irresponsible to deny these workers and their families access to the social safety net during the health and economic crises.
Support Latino-owned businesses through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program.
The CDFI Program played a critical role in revitalizing low-income communities during the last recession. Congress should once again invest significant funds into this program and ensure that Latino-led and Latino-serving CDFIs that successfully reach and serve Latino businesses and their employees receive funding. This assistance is especially critical given that Latinos are more likely to be denied low-interest small business loans.
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