Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios Twin Cities reporters Torey Van Oot and Nick Halter hosted a virtual conversation on Black-owned businesses, PPP loans and the future of the economy in Minneapolis featuring Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D - Minn.) and Du Nord Craft Spirits CEO and owner Chris Montana.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar discussed how the government should provide more help to Black and minority-owned businesses.

  • On pushing to include a venture capital proposal focusing on women and minorities in the next relief plan: "I'm actually leading an effort to make sure that we focus on women as well as minorities [in the next PPP stimulus package] to make sure that they're at the front of the line. When the next PPP money goes out, it's looking at [targeted] programs to encourage entrepreneurship."
  • On seeing a path forward for a $15 minimum wage: "I think the time has come. And so that's something that obviously is a priority for President Biden...We're in a place where we can get it done."

Chris Montana discussed his experience as a small business owner in Minneapolis and highlighted the importance of having institutions mirror the communities that they serve.

  • "I think that all of our institutions — government, business, social engagement — should all be reflective of the community. Our business community really isn't. And because kids like me grow up not seeing examples of people in boardrooms and law firms or distilleries, we don't know that's on our horizon. I think that that needs to change."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with Facebook VP and Head of Scaled Solutions of Global Business Marketing Judy Toland, who discussed the economic impact of the pandemic on small businesses.

  • "The pandemic has not affected all small businesses equally. We've seen that Black-owned businesses are closing at twice the rate of others since the start of the pandemic. And when they are saying open, their sales are decreasing at a higher rate by a rate of 30%."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Feb 10, 2021 - Axios Events

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: More help for women and Black-owned businesses hurt by pandemic is needed

Axios Events

The government should provide more help to Black and minority-owned businesses suffering during the pandemic, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said at an Axios event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Klobuchar said small communities have been "hit hard" during the pandemic, and women and minority-owned businesses were late to receive financial recovery aid.

  • As Axios' Naomi Shavin wrote in May, structural barriers and a lack of "cash buffers" during the first round of PPP loans made surviving a pandemic particularly difficult for black and minority-owned businesses.

What she's saying: "And we know who's been hit hard by this pandemic, whether it's because they're essential workers, whether it's because they're laid off, whether it's because of the death rate and where you've seen these higher mortality rates with the minority communities or whether it's where the aid has gone."

Klobuchar said she's pushing to include a venture capital proposal that would encourage more women and minority entrepreneurship in the next relief plan.

"No one is better off if we have a whole group in our society who's been hurt more by this pandemic than others," she said.

Of note: Klobuchar also said she sees a path to passing the $15 minimum wage legislation through reconciliation in the upcoming COVID bill.

  • "You've had a lot of these minimum wage increases passed in jurisdictions across the country and not just in blue states," she said.

Watch the full event here.

Feb 11, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

How the first Black owner of a distillery in the U.S. is grappling with dual crises

Chris Montana’s Du Nord Craft Spirits faced double pain this year. The pandemic shut down his cocktail room and, just as he was getting ready to reopen, his business was severely damaged during the riots after George Floyd’s death.

What's next: Montana, the first Black owner of a distillery in the U.S., told Nick during the Smart Take event that he is pouring his energy into supporting Black and brown business owners as Lake Street rebuilds.

Axios roundtable on global financial inclusion

On Friday, February 5 Axios' Dan Primack and Aja Whitaker-Moore hosted a virtual roundtable featuring policymakers, business innovators, and experts to discuss a widening divide in economic opportunity globally, uneven access to digital technology, and the realities of systemic racism.

Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Europe, Visa Charlotte Hogg, discussed how the pandemic has made digital inclusion inextricable from financial inclusion.

  • "Whether it's individuals or businesses and all parts of the economy, if you are digitally excluded in this pandemic, you are truly excluded...if you want an inclusive recovery, you want a recovery that attracts all forms of skill sets and enables jobs. You need to think about the digitization of small businesses."

St. Paul, Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter unpacked how financial barriers to even accessing financial services in a critical obstacle for members of the community.

  • "We have people in our community who spend a tenth of their income every month just accessing financial services. That's a challenge for us. We have people who don't know or don't think that they earn enough money to even file for their federal income tax, so they lose collectively millions of dollars on the earned income tax credits that they are entitled to."

Mahesh Uttamchandani, the Practice Manager for SME Access to Finance and Credit Infrastructures, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation at the World Bank highlighted how mobile money is an effective bridge for people who are unbanked to access to financial services.

  • "We have found that there are some real game-changers that you can do from a policy perspective to enable [financial inclusion], particularly around enabling the use of mobile money, which for many people in developing countries is the gateway access to some kind of financial service."

President and CEO at Women's World Banking Mary Ellen Iskenderian discussed the effect of gender disparities in access to technology on financial inclusion and successful case studies in closing gender gaps in finance.

  • "Inclusion and digital are so closely linked [and] women are at a disadvantage in access to the actual technology...We also know that trust is a huge barrier for people to really enter the financial system, to really embrace financial services. How do we make sure that as we move to more of technological use, that [people] still feel a sense of trust?"

Managing Director at Cleo Capital Sarah Kunst discussed the need to prioritize access to livable wages instead of focusing exclusively on financial literacy.

  • "On the day-to-day, education doesn't get you more money. It's having a higher minimum wage. It's being paid more fairly. It's being able to schedule basic things like which hours you're working so that you can have a second job and you can bring in a little bit more income. And I think a lot of those are policy-driven".

Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute, discussed how racial equity is not a separate policy issue, but rather a facet of all policy, from housing to finance to health care.

  • "We've got to think about race explicitly in all of this. So many of the things that leave black families in America with so little wealth are the creation of intentional choices and policies we've made."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.