Transcript | Event Summary

Minority-led businesses in Detroit—especially small businesses and microenterprises—shape their neighborhoods, support local employment, and promote wealth accumulation in their communities. These firms face unequal access to capital in normal times. But how did they cope during the pandemic?

Join us for a virtual event where we will explore the preliminary findings from a recent survey of minority businesses in metro Detroit. We will highlight the experiences of minority business owners in accessing needed capital and financing both before and during the pandemic. We will also examine how these small and micro businesses fared during the pandemic and their near-term outlook.

The survey discussion will be followed by a panel of Detroit thought leaders who will consider the implications of the preliminary survey findings and how policies may need to adapt to meet the needs of minority businesses.

In this one-hour virtual convening, experts will discuss:

  • How have small and micro businesses in Detroit been impacted by the pandemic?
  • What are the internal and external barriers survey respondents have identified in accessing capital?
  • What policies are needed to deal with the funding barriers?
  • What can government, financial institutions, and businesses do to promote equitable access to capital?

This forum is part of Project Hometown, a Chicago Fed initiative created to better understand the challenges facing the people and communities we serve. Through these discussions, we examine how our hometowns can recover from the pandemic, overcome longstanding inequities, and grow stronger. Project Hometown supports our commitment to a strong, stable, and inclusive economy and financial system for our region and nation.

Joseph Anderson

Joseph B. Anderson Jr

Chairman and CEO,
TAG Holdings


Rick Mattoon

Rick Mattoon

Vice President and Regional Executive,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch

Opening Remarks

Rick Mattoon is vice president and regional executive, Detroit Branch, in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Mattoon’s primary research focuses on issues that face the Midwest regional economy. He began his career at the Chicago Fed in 1990. In 1997, he left the bank to serve as a policy advisor for economic development, energy, and telecommunications to the governor of Washington. He later served as director of policy and legislation for the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. He returned to the Chicago Fed in 2001.

Mattoon’s work has appeared in the National Tax Journal, State Tax Notes, and Public Choice and Society. He is the co-author of a chapter on state and local governments and the national economy in the Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance .

Mattoon serves on the board of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, the advisory committee to the Chicago Workforce Investment Council, and the pension committee of the Civic Federation, and he is a member of the joint advisory board of economists to the governor of Virginia. He also serves as a lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Mattoon received a BA from Kenyon College and an MA from the University of Chicago.

Maude Toussaint

Maude Toussaint

Senior Economist and Economic Advisor,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Presenter & Panelist

Kenneth Harris

Dr. Kenneth Harris

President and CEO,
National Business League


Paul Jones

Paul Jones

Business Support Network Director
Invest Detroit


Margaret Ference

Margaret Ference

Senior Vice President,
Business Banking Credit, SBA & Ops Director
Huntington National Bank


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