Heard on the Street: lingering OZone questions, new small biz loan fund, and the truth about the gig economy

Heard on the Street – here’s what we were reading last week:

These investors are fixing finance to better serve Black entrepreneurs: A few years ago the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a study that revealed a city divided: median white wealth was $247,000, compared to median Black wealth of $8. Financial organizations around the country are democratizing investment decision-making, rethinking credit underwriting and directing capital to fill long-standing gaps as they drop legacy investing practices that have excluded people of color.

Chicago’s ‘Opportunity Zones’: Questions linger about uses, benefits: A report released Thursday by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, outlines how Chicago can best leverage the Opportunity Zones tax credit to everyone’s benefit — developers, investors, and, most importantly, long-standing community residents.

New Small Business Loan Fund puts Racial Equity Front and Center: Rende Progress Capital was founded with the intention of making small business loans to help address the racial disparity in economic outcomes. Their evaluation process utilizes the Racial Equity Impact Assessment developed by Race Forward.

The Truth About the Gig Economy:  The gig economy is taking over the world. Independent contractor jobs are the new normal. But the gig economy was then and is now a more marginal phenomenon than it might have seemed.