Articles about the Economy

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Supporting Charlotte’s minority-owned small businesses
   June 29, 2021
Angelique Gaines

A study released this week by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute sheds light on the unique challenges minority-owned small businesses face and how the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community can better support these enterprises, which are key to community well-being and wealth-building.

Defined as businesses with fewer than 500...

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Poverty suburbanization and job access: A new study tests ‘spatial mismatch’
   June 16, 2021
Ely Portillo

Does where you live — and what jobs you have access to — influence whether you work, and how much you earn?

The long-held “spatial mismatch” theory posits that inner city unemployment and poverty has been driven in large part by the increasing physical separation of inner city residents from job opportunities, as suburbs boomed and employers dispersed away from urban cores. As Black...

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Wall Street-backed landlords now own more than 11,000 single-family homes in Charlotte
   June 9, 2021
Ely Portillo, Justin Lane

For decades, the single-family home rental market was a small-scale industry, made up almost entirely of local landlords who rented out a few houses they bought as investment properties, or perhaps inherited, or held on to after relocating.

But the years since the Great Recession have witnessed a dramatic shift, as Wall Street-backed rental companies moved in to...

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Watch our virtual transportation and economic mobility panel
   June 1, 2021
Ely Portillo

How does the ability to move around our city influence one’s ability to move up the economic ladder?

That was the topic of our second Schul Conversation, a virtual discussion series bringing together experts to discuss different aspects of economic mobility in our region. The panel featured Charlotte’s Assistant City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba, UNC Charlotte professor Dr...

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Seeking the third Gambrell Faculty Fellows cohort
   May 27, 2021
Lori Thomas

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, with support from The Gambrell Foundation, is now accepting applications for the next cohort of faculty fellows to study issues around economic mobility in the Charlotte region. The program will fund five projects this year, up to $15,000 each. 

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Charlotte’s nowhere near the finish line for its development rules rewrite
   May 12, 2021
Ely Portillo

With straw votes on the controversial elements and the final adoption of Charlotte’s new vision plan looming in the next month, there’s a sense that the city’s reaching a finale in the years-long process of rewriting its development rules.

But adopting the vision plan might end up – surprisingly – being one of the easier parts of the whole process. That’s because after Charlotte City...

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NoDa perceived: past, present and future of a mill village
   October 28, 2020
Martin Zimmerman

Not that long ago, a few aging blocks in a declining, working-class neighborhood revived from the dust and grit of the textile mill era as Charlotte’s  home-grown arts district. By the mid-1990s, galleries and off-beat music venues replaced empty storefronts. Nightlife began to flourish, and the acronym "NoDa" took hold, affirming a new identity.

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A Groundswell for Charlotte: New Gambrell Faculty Fellows address Economic Mobility
   August 31, 2020
Lori Thomas

Groundswells are a series of waves formed by storm systems off the coast, so-named because the energy from their waves reaches the floor of the ocean at a thousand foot depths. By the time the waves of a groundswell reach shore, the interplay between the ocean surface and floor has built energy and momentum. Unlike wind swells that result in shallow, choppy waves and tsunamis that result in a...

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Savings, investment and racial wealth gap over generations
Wealth serves as a buffer through economic downturns, job loss, and other unexpected emergencies such the COVID-19 pandemic. In Charlotte, households of color are more than twice as likely to lack sufficient savings or assets that can be used to pay for basic needs for three months without income when compared to White households. Read more


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Three lessons our city should learn from COVID-19
   June 2, 2020
Ely Portillo
The novel coronavirus is extracting a terrible toll from our society, replete with mind-boggling statistics: A death toll of more than 100,000, 40 million people unemployed, a 95% plunge in airline passengers and so many more. The losses are immense. Grief is immeasurable. It’s still unclear how far-reaching and deep the economic pain we’re facing will run.  Amidst that, however, the... Read more