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The Color of the Capital Gap: Increasing Capital Access for Entrepreneurs of Color in Massachusetts

May 20, 2021

This report lays bare the wide disparities in capital access and their root causes. The report also provides a foundation to advance bold and timely actions, policies and investments for the state, foundations, corporations, and individuals to help narrow the gap. With national attention focused on the struggle of entrepreneurs and the oppression of people of color in our society, and with large amounts of federal funding for small businesses on the way, we have a unique opportunity to implement transformative solutions that set up our entrepreneurs of color for success. 

Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today

March 1, 2017

A new report by Cambridge Community Foundation charts the impact of trends in housing, education and income disparity that threaten the city's prized culture of diversity and inclusion, even as its enviable role in a regional innovation economy drives soaring levels of prosperity. A review of relevant data raises questions about whether this growth actually benefits city residents–or whether a growing financial disconnect means many residents can no longer afford the city they live in.Fully 78 percent of current low-income households in Cambridge are "cost burdened," spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Over half spend over 50 percent of total income on housing. They qualify as "severely cost burdened."In 2015, Just 4 percent of the city's rental housing stock was affordable for a family with two workers earning $75,000 a year in total – in a community with a median annual household income of just over $79,000. The cost of buying a home is inevitably further out of reach: just 2 percent of single-family homes and 9 percent of condominiums are affordable for a family earning $75,000 a year total.Closely related to the housing situation is a growing income gap as the city moves toward a divide between rich and poor with those in the middle squeezed out. One consequence: the number of low- and middle- income residents in the city has declined in recent years while high–income residents have dramatically increased as a proportion of the whole.The report, titled Boomtown/Hometown: What the Numbers Say about Income, Housing and Education in Cambridge Today, was developed with data contributions from the city and from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. It identifies a serious threat to a tradition of cohesiveness and inclusivity, signatures of this small city with its long history as a global education center, immigrant destination and creative industrial sparkplug.

Chicago Music City

August 1, 2007

Chicago Music City compares the strength and vitality of music industries and scenes across the United States. Sociologists, urban planners, and real-estate developers point to quality of life and availability of cultural amenities as important indicators of the health and future success of urban areas. Economic impact studies show the importance of music to local economies. This publication compares Chicago's musical strength with the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., focusing on 11 comparison cities: Chicago and its demographic peers, New York and Los Angeles, and eight other cities with strong musical reputations -- Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Las Vegas, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans and Seattle.

Driven to Spend: Pumping Dollars Out of Our Households and Communities

June 1, 2005

This report examines the impacts of transportation spending on households in the 28 metro areas for which the federal government collects expenditure data and of rising gas prices on both households and regional economies. It finds that households in regions that have invested in public transportation reap financial benefits from having access to affordable mobility options, even as gas prices rise, and that regions with public transit are losing less per household from the increase in gas prices than those without transit options.