Structural reforms to capital markets and increased community investing key to supercharging Administration’s efforts to address COVID-19 fall out, racial wealth gap and climate change

NEW YORK – April 7, 2021 – Today the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, B Lab and a coalition of more than 50 impact-oriented organizations are calling for the creation of a White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth to coordinate federal policies that will reshape and rebuild our economy so that it works for all of us. The proposed Initiative’s bold approach would support the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address three monumental crises facing our nation: the COVID-19 economic fallout; a widening racial wealth gap; and climate change.

The Administration has made significant headway and the Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth would supercharge these efforts by prioritizing a set of necessary and long overdue structural reforms to our economy and capital markets, including:

“The unequal impact of COVID-19, especially on communities of color, shows the need for a fundamentally different approach to our economy. We need to incentivize businesses, investors and markets to reevaluate their impact on workers, as well as the community and the environment around them, to stimulate inclusive economic growth,” said Andrew Kassoy, co-founder and CEO, B Lab. “The Initiative will change the rules and incentives for decision-makers on Wall Street to refocus resources on underrepresented stakeholders on Main Street.”

The Initiative aligns with and supports the core values of the Biden-Harris Administration and is critical to driving a coordinated policy agenda that refocuses corporations and investors on real and equitable value creation that promotes quality jobs, thriving communities, and the resilience of our planet. It would be staffed at the National Economic Council, which could play a central coordinating role in promoting equitable economic policy across the Administration.  This would also ensure the outlined goals of the proposed Initiative sit at the very center of our nation’s economic policymaking apparatus.

“We commend the Administration for identifying these critical policy priorities and believe the Initiative is key to accelerating this work, leveraging the principles of stakeholder capitalism and community investing across the federal government in a coordinated way,” said Fran Seegull, president, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. “There is no better time than now to move the discussion beyond incremental progress and toward transformative change by harnessing private sector tools and capital to better support communities. Impact investors stand ready to partner with the Administration on this Initiative.”

A launch event featured supportive remarks from Darren Walker, president, Ford Foundation and Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder, Guild Education, a Certified B Corporation.

“From the justice system to the economy, there are yawning gaps in how people of color experience America,” said Walker. “The creation of a White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth is one step toward addressing the inequality and systemic racism that has been baked into the foundation of our economic systems. By working together, government and the private sector can implement long-needed structural reforms to create an America that works for everyone.”

“Building an inclusive economy for all Americans is imperative — now more than ever. At Guild Education, we are focused on closing the upskilling and opportunity gap for the American workforce, and we are grateful to partner with like-minded organizations on this important initiative,” said Carlson.

The Initiative is well-timed with increasing interest in addressing the negative impacts that shareholder primacy are having on the American economy, the quality of America’s global economic leadership, and American workers and communities.

“You wouldn’t believe it from watching cable news, but my 30-year career in business and philanthropy has taught me that most Americans desire the same outcomes, including economic opportunity for all,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). “Being pro-business and pro-worker are not mutually exclusive endeavors, and as we emerge from a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, we have an opportunity to reimagine the way in which the American economy serves all American communities. That’s why I’m joining a growing chorus of voices from the public and private sectors in support of the White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) also voiced support for the proposed Initiative: “For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on a series of proposals to revamp American capitalism. Over the past couple of decades, we have seen the erosion of the American social contract for workers, a hyper focus on corporate efficiency at the expense of long-term resiliency, and an emphasis on short-term shareholder returns instead of long-term investments in innovation and communities. I support the calls for a White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth to devote resources and attention to the need to reform American capitalism. We need an all-of-government approach to building broad-based growth in the 21st century.”

Signatories from the broad-based coalition focused on stakeholder capitalism, corporate social and environmental impact, sustainable finance, community development finance, and capital markets structural reform include:

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