This year, three key measures have expanded opportunities for Latinos, and have put more money in our gente’s pockets.
Last month, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The legislation is considered the biggest investment to combat climate change in U.S. history. The bill aims to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease prescription drug prices and high inflation, issues which have disproportionately affected Latinos.
“We applaud the funding provisions included for environmental justice community needs, pollution monitoring and cleanup, drought preparedness, coastal restoration, and clean ports, as well as tax credits and funding for clean electricity generation and storage in the Inflation Reduction Act,” The Hispanic Access Foundation said in a statement.
The expansion of the small business loan program earlier this year has also positively impacted Latino business owners. The program, which was set to end September 2022, was extended to September 2024. The program provides additional funding for Latino-owned businesses that have historically been underfunded. This lack of funding has been proven to expose Latino businesses to more financial risk, according to the State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2020 research study from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.
“The Community Advantage pilot expansion and reforms reflect the central role that President Biden and Vice President Harris have given to building equity across this Administration and removing historic inequities and barriers that have limited economic growth for all,” Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), said in a press release.
New additions to one of the largest antipoverty programs in the country marks another historic financial win for Latinos. It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and it provides significant support to those on the fault lines of some of the pandemic’s worst economic effects.
The House’s relief bill will raise the maximum EITC for workers without children from roughly $530 to roughly $1,500, and the income cap for these adults to qualify from about $16,000 to at least $21,000.
“[The Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit provisions] would result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people, including millions of essential workers,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released in a statement.
Together, the Child Tax Credit and EITC lift 5.5 million children of hardworking families above the poverty line, That’s more than any other government economic support program.