The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought disaster upon small businesses and the people and communities dependent upon them, with Fortune estimating over 100,000 businesses closing.
Even before 2020, the forces of high finance, competition from corporations and smartphone apps were pressing on small businesses, according to Keith Taylor, University of California Cooperative Extension specialist. But promising solutions exist.
A new free webinar series, "Community Economic Development Innovations for a Post-pandemic Economy," will highlight some of these opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and other interested members of the public.
"We will start a conversation about prospects for new businesses after COVID-19, and entrepreneurial support for existing and new independent business startups," said Taylor, who is organizing the series.
Researchers, executives and entrepreneurs driving these innovations will present their thoughts and experiences. They will discuss challenges facing small businesses in policy, markets and fair competition; alternative community economic development strategies used by communities in addressing these challenges; and new business models.
April 22: The Peril of the Sharing Economy: How Platforms Companies Are Reshaping Our Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Consumer Behavior – Martin Kenney, UC Davis professor in the Department of Human Ecology
May 6: Mobilizing and Organizing Grassroots Capital: Investment Clubs and Real Estate Cooperatives – Matt Cropp, executive director of Vermont Employee Ownership Center
May 20 Utilities of the 21st Century – Kevin Short, CEO of ANZA Electric Cooperative
June 3 Modo Co-operative: A Platform for Carsharing – Patrick Nangle, CEO of Modo Co-operative
June 17 Models of Affordable Workforce Housing – Mikaela Fenton, UC Davis Bradshaw Scholar