“These longstanding systemic challenges have too often prevented access to the benefits of economic growth and mobility for too many,” said Business Roundtable Chairman Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. “It is our employees, customers and communities who are calling for change, and we are listening — and most importantly — we are taking action.”
The recommendations and commitments from the Business Roundtable, a top business lobbying group, are far-ranging.
In terms of legislative and government efforts, the report calls for an increase in the federal minimum wage, police reforms and better access to affordable childcare and education.
The group also committed to do more to support Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing $1 billion to community lending institutions by 2025 and to create a mentoring system for 50,000 Black and Latino small business owners over the next five years.
And Business Roundtable members are committing to help people of color by reaching more unbanked and underbanked Blacks and Latinos, helping them build credit, and aiming to invest $30 billion to build 200,000 affordable rental units by 2025.
“[A]s written, [these initiatives] carry no more weight than the paper they’re printed on. Any power they have will come from the energy, resources and sustained commitment we put behind them — it will take the full weight of business, in cooperation with other leaders, to drive change. But we must act, and we must act now.”