President Biden said today that the amount of federal contracts set aside for small disadvantaged business will be increased by 5 percent in order to drive greater opportunity for minority entrepreneurs.
Biden made the remarks when he was in Tulsa, Okla., to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre in which white mobs wiped out the thriving Greenwood District — known then as Black Wall Street — and murdered an estimated 300 black residents.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters en route that the administration is focused on “expanding access to two key wealth creators — homeownership and small-business ownership,” and will be “using the federal government’s purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent, translating to an additional $100 billion over five years.”
“On Day One, the president signed an executive order directing federal agencies to identify concrete opportunities to advance equitable outcomes — which has already led to the Department of Agriculture announcing a new $6 billion initiative to help small and socially disadvantaged producers,” Jean-Pierre added.
Biden said in his remarks at the commemoration that “small businesses are the engines of our economy and the glue of our communities.”
“As president, my administration oversees hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts for everything from refurbishing decks of aircraft carriers to installing railings in federal buildings to professional services,” he said. “…I’m going to increase the share of the dollars the federal government spends to small disadvantaged businesses including black and brown small businesses. Right now it calls for 10 percent. We’re gonna move that to 15 percent of every dollar spent will be spent for both.”
While not going into a timetable or other details, Biden said that he would make it a priority to move to that contracting goal.
“Just imagine if instead of denying millions of entrepreneurs the ability to access capital and contracting we made it possible to take their dreams to the marketplace to create jobs and invest in our communities,” Biden continued. “The data shows young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are. But they don’t have lawyers, they don’t have accountants. But they have great ideas.”