Detroit Free Press: Matthew Roling on disproportionate impact of pandemic on low-income individuals

COVID-19 has not only exposed health disparities in the U.S., it has also brought to light economic inequalities, according to numerous economists and studies examining the pandemic's impact. On a local level, those disparities become apparent in Detroit when compared with the suburbs and the rest of Michigan. Matthew Roling, executive director of the Office of Business Innovation at Wayne State University and Mike Ilitch School of Business part-time faculty, said the limited options for work for low-income individuals have been brought to light by the pandemic. "Retail and food and beverage are places anyone can go to make a buck when they couldn’t anywhere else," he said. "They've become the welfare and the job safety net of our society and people are getting crushed by this void." Roling said it will take years before restaurants and retail are operating at full capacity and bringing in business like they used to.

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