April 2021
News + Updates
The COVID-19 pandemic created a range of health, economic, and social policy challenges for New Hampshire. Changes in economic conditions have deepened existing challenges for vulnerable populations and communities, while other households have faced new challenges around decisions regarding employment and child care that they had never anticipated. As New Hampshire seeks to accelerate its economic recovery, this study focused on key factors that impact the decision-making of households and may serve as constraints to returning to the workforce or expanding their participation. This study began in December 2019 pursuant to a legislative requirement to understand the economic implications of benefit cliffs. These “cliffs” result from situations in which increases in earned income lead to decreases in net resources for households due to a loss of program benefits, disincentivizing workforce participation. Learn more
ESI was proud to support 15 clients with Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) applications in March. We work with developers, business owners, nonprofits, and public agencies to help them review the requirement of RACP, if they meet those requirements, and position their project to show to what extent it will have positive regional economic impacts and achieve the desired outcomes of the RACP program. Learn more.
Upcoming Events and Sponsorships
Staff and Senior Advisor Updates
Steve Wray spoke at Carnegie Mellon University's "For Alumni, By Alumni" series on Smart Cities Solutions for a Riskier World on 4/7.
Bernard Markstein produced a report for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
There were two stories released based on his report.
Joyce Lee was named a leader facilitating with the World Health Organization to publish a Roadmap document for COVID-19 and ventilation in indoor environment. Read more.

Congratulations to Jing Liu on her promotion to Associate Director!

We send a warm welcome to Adam Glaser on joining our Senior Advisory Board.
Join us in welcoming ESI's three new Drexel co-ops for the semester: Brianna Galvin, Shaum Arora, and Uswa Mutaal! We look forward to working with you.
News from the Lab
Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World - Full Findings Available
ESI ThoughtLab has officially released the full findings from Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World, a forward-looking study that provides urban leaders with an evidence-based playbook for driving social, environmental, and economic outcomes in a post-pandemic world. The study reveals how 167 cities worldwide are leveraging technology, data, and partnerships to drive social development goals.
To understand how cities are using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a roadmap for the future, ESI ThoughtLab collaborated with a global advisory board of academic, business, and government leaders to study six world regions. Full findings are available by visiting the program microsite.
U.S. - China Research
The humanitarian crisis in China has led to a deterioration of EU-China relations. It has widened the divergence of two opposing views within Europe. In addition, Europe's attitude towards the "Chinese market" is not an idealistic one. What does the future hold for the CAI? Read the article.
Present Value
by Jing Liu, Richard Voith, Sidney Wong, and Steve Wray
Jing Liu, Richard Voith, Sidney Wong and Steve Wray discuss the outlook for US-China relations with our China-based partner, ANBOUND. ESI and ANBOUND present the voices from both the US and China while answering some critical questions.
A third round of stimulus checks are going to be distributed by the government to help stabilize and grow the economy. With stricter income restrictions for stimulus payments, how are households and businesses going to save and spend? ESI Director Rebecca DeJoseph and analyst Julia Flanagan collaborate to explain the effects of this safety net and its impact on the citizens of Philadelphia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stress test for many cities. It has disrupted normal operations but provided businesses alternative ways to function. To survive in the post-COVID world, urban leaders will need access to evidence-based analysis showing the innovative technologies, solutions, and business models that will work best, particularly when the next disruption hits. The 17 SDG's highlight how a city can improve in various fields.
Last week saw the passages of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which is topped only by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in the size and scope of the infusion of spending into the economy.
State and local governments will see $350 billion in aid, distributed largely based on shares of unemployment (states), the federal community development block grant formula (cities) and population (counties).
Whether one lives in a metropolitan, suburban, or rural area, they are aware of the current state of their community in a major or minor capacity. Over many decades, residents will notice the improvements or deteriorations that impacted their community. The distinctness of community development, as well as economic development, remains apparent, but it is time to approach these two topics as a linked entity.
When we talk about wanting to make a difference through our Equity & Inclusion practice, it is simultaneously a bland statement and an eyebrow-raising one. Bland because who doesn’t want to have a positive impact? But eyebrow-raising because it makes it sound like we are a non-profit or a think tank, rather than a for-profit business.
Client Spotlight
ESI was featured in StateCollege.com for producing a local impact report for a proposed mini-casino in Centre County, PA. The report concluded that the casino would have a net-positive impact on College Township tourism, helping to revitalize the Nittany Mall and attract other retail and hospitality operators to the area. Read more.
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