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Notes from the field: Bringing health equity to small, minority businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

November 8, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Promotional banner for APHA 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo in Boston on November 6-9, 2022. The banner includes the text: 150 years of creating the healthiest nation; leading the path toward equity; engage, collaborate, grow. An illustration of a cityscape also is included.

Rutgers Global Health Institute manager of education and training Arpita Jindani and director Richard Marlink will give an oral presentation at 2:30 p.m. on November 8, 2022, at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.

Abstract title:
Notes from the field: Bringing health equity to small, minority businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in early March of 2020, and by March 26, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, providing $2 trillion in aid to hospitals, small businesses, and state and local governments. By May 9, 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate was 14.7%, the worst rate since the Great Depression. With 20.5 million people out of work, industries involved in direct customer services were especially impacted.

The necessary public health measures that were put in place to mitigate COVID-19 transmission had a severe impact on small businesses, as their economic model relied heavily on mobility and foot traffic to their businesses. The working definition of small businesses in this presentation reflects businesses that employ 50 or fewer employees. Multiple economic reports and news media coverage highlighted the pattern of unequal recovery and identify additional layers of disparity that are dependent on education, gender, and location. While New Jersey has the wealthiest zip codes in the country, it ranks 12th in the nation for income inequality. African Americans, Latinas/Latinos, and other communities of color in New Jersey already faced some of the worst racial wealth disparities in the country, and this disparity was now exacerbated by the pandemic.

In our presentation, we plan to highlight case studies from urban, minority communities in New Jersey that are sites of our ongoing community intervention. We will also discuss our approaches to serving underserved communities through meaningful local partnerships and a responsive approach to community needs. We will conclude with best practices for establishing a collaborative community-engaged program.

Learning outcomes:
1. Describe the health and social impact of COVID-19 on minority-owned small businesses.
2. Be able to discuss the role of community stakeholders, including community-based organizations and faith-based organizations, in helping address this impact.
3. List best practices for a community-engaged intervention.


Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. Boston, MA 02210

Advance registration required; this presentation is a component of the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo. Contact Arpita Jindani at for information about the presentation.


November 8, 2022
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm


APHA Annual Meeting and Expo – Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Boston, Massachusetts