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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

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.

Biden warns gas stations not to price gouge: "That's not who we are"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday warned gas companies to not price gouge amid major shortages following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.

The big picture: Biden added that the FBI does not believe the Russian government is behind the attack, but they do know that those responsible "are living in Russia."