Racism has cost the US economy $16 trillion in the last 20 years

  • Centuries of discrimination have created a cavernous wealth gap between Black and white Americans. 
  • Today, Black Americans own an estimated one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150 for Black families compared to $171,000 for white families.
  • This gap is not only bad for Black people, it’s bad for the US economy, too.
  • Researchers estimate that the racial wealth gap has cost the US economy $16 trillion since 2000. If the gap closed today, the GDP would see a $5 trillion boost in the next five years.
  • Read more stories from Business Insider’s “Inside the racial wealth gap” series »

Since the start of slavery, racism has cost Black Americans an estimated $70 trillion. Today, thanks to centuries of discrimination, the racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans is cavernous.

In 2016, the Brookings Institution estimated that Black Americans own about one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150

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How small business owners may benefit from the $2 trillion federal aid package

Overall, small business groups are pleased some assistance is coming. But they also stress the package — which includes close to $400 billion in aid for small business owners — is still not enough to save Main Street.

“This doesn’t cure the crisis. It’s a good start. But more support will be needed,” said Derek Peebles, executive director of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).

The provisions are also unlikely to save those small businesses that will have to come up with cash to stay afloat until they can actually get the government’s aid money in hand.

“There’s no way many can keep going,” said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy group.

Speed will be key to helping any small business survive, especially when it comes to dispensing the forgivable loans that will be available to owners who keep paying their employees during the

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