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On Tuesday, May 4, Axios markets reporter Courtenay Brown, editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston and business reporter Hope King unpacked how local businesses and policymakers are working to build a sustainable and lasting economic recovery from the pandemic, featuring Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell and Eso Won Books co-owner James Fugate.

Rep. Judy Chu unpacked how government can support small businesses through effective policymaking, and highlighted the inequities in the PPP loan process.

  • "I am very concerned about the disparities...The Latino [population] got loans at half the rate of the regular population, and the Black population was only able to get it by about three-quarters of what whites were able to."

Holly Mitchell discussed Los Angeles Country's progressive approach to supporting women and minority-owned businesses and strengthening the relationship between banks and small, community-based businesses.

  • "Equity must be the lens through which we look at investment, recognizing the disproportionate impact communities of color have had as a result of this virus."

James Fugate described how the push to purchase from Black-owned businesses following the murder of George Floyd impacted his store, as well as as others in Los Angeles.

  • "Not only did it offset the decline in the business, but we ended up having one of the best years we've ever had...that is what set in motion this great surge at stores like ours and others."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top Segment with Wells Fargo CEO and president Charlie Scharf discussed how small businesses make up the backbone of the economy in cities like Los Angeles, and the importance of large institutions being good community parters.

  • "93% percent of Los Angeles businesses have fewer than 20 employees, which is just striking. It's just the reality that Los Angeles is home to so many small and micro-businesses. And so we recognize that there is a tremendous amount that we have to do."

Thank you Wells Fargo for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

22 mins ago - World

Israeli and Palestinian officials are speaking again

Isaac Herzog (L), then the leader of the opposition, meets with Mahmoud Abbas in 2015. Photo: Abbas MomaniI/AFP via Getty

Relations between the new Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have shifted substantially in recent weeks, with Israeli officials going so far as to call it “a renaissance."

Why it matters: During Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year tenure as prime minister, relations deteriorated to the point where there was almost no contact other than security coordination.

54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer raises estimate of COVID-19 vaccine sales by 29%

Pfizer anticipates manufacturing 4 billion doses of its vaccine next year. Photo: Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer expects revenue from the COVID-19 vaccine, co-developed by BioNTech, will reach $33.5 billion this year — a 29% jump from the previously estimated $26 billion.

Why it matters: This vaccine, which has dramatically slowed the coronavirus pandemic, is on pace to be the world's top-selling drug of all time, by far. And now Pfizer is pushing for people to get a third "booster" shot of its vaccine to combat the growing Delta variant.