U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., has introduced legislation to help expand economic opportunity by encouraging economic growth, business retention and recruitment in underserved communities.
The Community Investment & Empowerment Act would authorize the Small Business Administration to make grants available to economically underserved communities, and incentivize businesses to locate to areas that have struggled to recruit and retain businesses. Targeted businesses in the legislation include grocery chains, retail stores and restaurants.
“Your ZIP code should not limit your ability to find work in your community. It also shouldn’t hinder your ability to buy groceries, clothes for your children, or a cup of coffee in your own neighborhood. Being able to shop where you live is a basic right and is vitally important to an area’s quality of life,” Kelly said.
“My bill would encourage businesses to set up shop in underserved areas, expanding amenities in these communities while creating the jobs that will help employ residents in those communities. It’s a win-win.”