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To Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap, Help Entrepreneurs of Color Own Property

The Biden administration has focused on homeownership in its attempts to address U.S. racial wealth disparities. There’s another kind of real estate that can help build wealth for small business owners. 

Fostering ownership of commercial real estate is an oft-overlooked way for Black entrepreneurs to build wealth. 

Fostering ownership of commercial real estate is an oft-overlooked way for Black entrepreneurs to build wealth. 

Photographer: Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group

In its plans to narrow America’s persistent racial wealth gap, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has focused largely on homeownership — and for good reason. Historic government policies and banking practices, such as redlining, denied communities of color access to this important wealth-building tool.

But homes are not the only kinds of property that have been affected by discriminatory government and private policies. Commercial property ownership has been hampered, too. And helping small businesses owned by people of color purchase property rather than rent is an overlooked way to help businesses thrive and address the gap.