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Research for Equity in Recovery

A webinar series from Community Development and Regional Outreach at the Philadelphia Fed, cohosted with the Upjohn Institute and the Penn Institute for Urban Research

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented residents across the nation with extreme challenges, leaders in communities across the nation have stepped up to confront these challenges in significant ways. This webinar series focuses on the most up-to-date research and best practices in the field on how to promote a strong and equitable recovery from the pandemic.

Small Businesses
Thursday, July 30, 12:00 noon–1:00 p.m. ET

Watch the webinar  or download the slides 

This session focuses on how COVID-19 has impacted small businesses across sectors, firm sizes, and geography. The panelists discuss how governments at all levels can help small businesses through programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program and how such small business programs may need to evolve over time to promote an equitable recovery.


  • Marianne Bertrand, Professor, University of Chicago (research 
  • Chi Mac, Small Business Research Lead, JPMorgan Chase Institute (research1 research2 )
  • Maurice A. Jones, President and CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Moderator: Timothy J. Bartik, Senior Economist, Upjohn Institute

Place-Based Strategies
Thursday, July 16, 12:00 noon–1:00 p.m. ET

Watch the webinar  or download the slides 

How can place-based initiatives be part of a strategy for an equitable recovery? COVID-19 and its economic fallout have worsened economic inequalities across the country and across demographic groups. Before the pandemic, regional growth was to a large extent concentrated in a small number of prosperous metro areas, mostly on the coasts. This growth has caused a housing crisis in these communities. At the same time, distressed areas have fallen into deeper decline. Early indications are that the pandemic is likely to worsen these trends. The panelists discuss what policies might hasten and deepen the recovery of distressed areas. They also discuss how to help spread both overall growth and high-tech growth more broadly across America’s communities as we recover from the pandemic.


  • Timothy J. Bartik, Senior Economist, Upjohn Institute (research 
  • Simon Johnson, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (research 
  • Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, Brookings Institution (research 
  • Moderator: Susan Wachter, Codirector, Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania

How Job Training Matters
Wednesday, July 1

Watch the webinar  or download the slides 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis but also a job reallocation shock. It could leave a mass of displaced workers with the wrong skills. This session focuses on the job training need during the recovery and best practices in the field.


  • Steven J. Davis, Professor, University of Chicago (research 
  • Michelle Miller-Adams, Senior Researcher, Upjohn Institute
  • Harry Holzer, Professor, Georgetown University, and former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Moderator: Theresa Singleton, Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

For questions about this series, please contact Lei Ding at lei.ding@phil.frb.org.