By: Sabrina Kim, Arpita Sharma, Ashley Thomas, Jennifer Ito, and Manuel Pastor
Small businesses are the backbone of the Los Angeles economy. As they grow and thrive, so do workers, families, communities, and cities. An often-overlooked opportunity for small business growth is procurement opportunities from public and private institutions. However, due to several challenges, including lack of access to lending and purchased protection for the customer, referred to as bonding, small businesses struggle to compete for these contracts. This is particularly true for people of color business owners and their communities. Los Angeles as a Host City asks how we can face those challenges and how we should prioritize investing our limited resources in order to build a more equitable region.
This research represents a new benchmark for understanding the diversity and specific geography of the Los Angeles small business community.
Read our other publications by research area
Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice
Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.
Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity
In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.
Social Movements & Governing Power
ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.
In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).
The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.