Biden says post-pandemic economy can fight racial inequality

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden unveiled a plan Tuesday to ensure that the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery is built around promoting racial equality, promising to dramatically spur investment in Black-owned small businesses and encourage home ownership while closing wealth gaps among minority communities.

Much of the 26-page proposal — and the billions in federal spending needed to pay for it — had already been promised as part of previous, larger Biden plans to jumpstart the economy when the coronavirus outbreak begins to recede. But as protests against institutional racism and police brutality have swept the country in recent months, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is attempting to show voters that he’s committed to implementing specific remedies that can promote racial and economic equality should he win the White House in November.

It’s also another way Biden is aiming to offer a stark contrast to President Donald Trump, who has spent weeks vowing to restore “law and order” and ordering federal authorities to intervene against ongoing protests in places like Portland, Oregon, and Chicago.

The former vice president will announce the plan during an afternoon speech near his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden wants to take $30 billion, or 10% of federal investment he’s already promised as part of larger economic plans, and funnel it into a “Small Business Opportunity Fund” designed to leverage $5 of private investment for minority owned enterprises for each $1 in public funds allocated. He also plans to spend $50 billion to provide startup capital that can help entrepreneurs of color start businesses in disadvantaged areas.

To encourage home ownership, the plan would create a $15,000 federal tax credit to help low-and middle-income families cover down payments on their…

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