Business, Free News Articles, Reports and Studies

Community Action Study Examines Impact of COVID-19 on Low-Income Families and Communities in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting low-income families in North Carolina especially hard, according to a new report released today by the North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA).

The study, which explored the impact of COVID-19 on low-income families and communities in North Carolina, was commissioned by NCCAA to gauge how the pandemic was affecting its efforts to combat poverty and facilitate self-sufficiency in low-income communities.

The full report is presented in two parts. Part I, "Lived Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic," presents the findings from focus groups with low-income families throughout the state. Part II, "Ruminations from the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic," presents the findings from key informant interviews with local leaders in low-income communities served by Community Action Agencies throughout the state.

"The voices of the people behind the numbers are equally important but heard less often, especially the voices of low-income people who have had their trials multiplied by the pandemic," said lead researcher Dr. James Johnson, Jr., director, Urban Investment Strategies. Dr. Johnson conducted the study in conjunction with researchers from the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities.

The study concluded that COVID-19 exacted a disproportionately heavy toll on low-income families, especially in terms of both exposure to and deaths from the coronavirus.

"This finding was not surprising, particularly as we know that low-wealth individuals who hurt the most are hardest hit by any catastrophe," said Sharon C. Goodson, executive director, NCCAA. The study also found vaccine hesitancy to be widespread among North Carolina's low-income families and households.

In addition to disparate exposures and deaths among the state's low-income population, the study found that the COVID-19 pandemic created major employment challenges and forced low-income households to make difficult decisions and choices regarding work versus personal safety and the health and wellbeing of their families. The shift to remote learning during the pandemic shed new light on deficiencies in the availability, access, quality, and cost of internet services for low-income families.

Focus group participants noted heightened personal and familial stress and anxiety posing, in the process, major socioemotional and mental health challenges for low-income individuals and families throughout the state.

Government safety-net programs were an important lifeline for these families but fell short of addressing the actual range of assistance low-income households needed. However, nonprofit organizations increased their efforts to provide additional financial and socio-emotional support, and basic-necessities such as food and personal protective equipment. Conversely, local governments and nonprofits have been forced to better collaborate to provide support, goods, and services to the needy in their communities.

The full report can be found HERE (PDF):

About the North Carolina Community Action Association:

The North Carolina Community Action Association is a member organization providing North Carolina's community action agencies with the resources to help improve living conditions and deliver opportunities to the state's most vulnerable families. Founded in 1967, we offer technical assistance, training, and other resources to aid our members in fighting poverty in their local communities. Our goal is to help stabilize and help provide self-sufficiency to families in crisis. For more information about the North Carolina Community Action Association, please visit our website at

Yvette D. Ruffin, APR
Phone: 919-673-3340 (mobile)

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Business, Construction and Building, Economic Development, Free News Articles

RMA to Provide Consulting Services for City of Greenacres

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- Redevelopment Management Associates (RMA) today announced it has been hired by the City of Greenacres to develop a vision for the City and create a strategic action plan. RMA will guide the 8th largest municipality in Palm Beach County towards future economic growth by implementing the firm's proven strategies which have reinvented numerous cities throughout the state. The first public input meeting will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Greenacres Community Center.

"We are honored to be working with the City of Greenacres to develop a vision, plan, brand and message for their community," said Sharon McCormick, Greenacres' project director and RMA's Director of Business Attraction & Marketing. "This will be an extensive program which will tap into RMA's multi-disciplinary approach and is designed to engage the residents and stakeholders in creating the future of the community."

The RMA process for Greenacres will begin with a market analysis, followed by public and stakeholder input meetings leading to a community vision. Next, the team will develop a realistic, achievable strategic action plan for the city's short-term and long-term goals. During the discovery process, resident and business surveys will be conducted. Additionally, RMA, with city leaders, staff and the community, will uncover and develop the city's current identity and aspirational brand, which will advance the communications message for the future economic growth in Greenacres.

The first public input meeting on October 13, 2018 is open to all residents, business owners, civic/community leaders and stakeholders. The community center is located at 501 Swain Blvd. For more information:

About Greenacres:

Greenacres is the 8th largest municipality of 39 in Palm Beach County. There are over 40,000 residents and over 1,000 businesses. With a land area of approximately six square miles, Greenacres is located in the central part of Palm Beach County and was originally incorporated in 1926.

The City is home to 9 public schools, 11 parks with a combined area of over 93 acres and the City's Community Center is host to a variety of youth, adult and senior classes and activities. Additionally, the City has been recognized as one of the "100 Best Communities for Young People" in the nation by America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth, the nation's largest alliance dedicated to children and youth.

About RMA:

Founded in 2009 by Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown, RMA is comprised of a phenomenal team of redevelopment experts passionate about building better communities. RMA is the most experienced full-service economic redevelopment consulting and management firm, headquartered in the state of Florida, specializing in revitalizing core areas and corridors for cities, counties and special districts nationwide. The co-founders are also the authors of one of the definitive books about city redevelopment, "Reinventing Your City: 8 Steps to Turn Your City Around."

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