Sept. 23, 2022–WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Small Business Administration (SBA), and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) launched a new strategic partnership to ensure that minority-owned businesses gain access to the tools necessary to win government contracts through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This new partnership will work to achieve multiple initiatives including increasing access to bonds and increasing bonding capacity, expanding resources from the Small Business Investment Company program for DOT prospective contractors, and working to engage small and minority-owned firms in national transportation supply chains in high-growth industries. To view the announcement, click here.
Ron Busby, Sr. President, and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. said the following about the partnership:
“Today’s procurement marketplace is inequitable, inaccessible, and fraught with systemic barriers that prevent Black firms from becoming prime contractors and suppliers. This initiative will work to expose the barriers faced by Black-owned firms while providing them with the resources and guidance needed to take their firms to the next stage of growth through the breadth of opportunity in infrastructure projects. USBC applauds the SBA, DOT, and MBDA on this historical partnership initiative to increase the share of minority-owned contractors that will rebuild and revitalize America’s infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. If carried out with intentionality, Black-owned firms will no doubt see growth in their industries and in their ability to remain contract ready for the opportunities in their state. USBC is committed to serving as a conduit of information and best-practices on behalf of the Black business community to the SBA, MBDA, and DOT throughout the remainder of this partnership and in the years to come.”
The multi-agency partnership follows a greater Administration-led push to ensure that America’s small contractors, especially those who are majority minority-owned and controlled, can benefit from opportunities in the procurement marketplace. Government contracting is representative of opportunity, business development, and carries immense potential for economic growth. However, Black firms continue to face undue burdens and barriers in the procurement system, only accessing a shocking 1.67 percent of contracts in FY2020. This strategic partnership represents a step in the right direction for increasing equity in procurement and increasing the Black business spend within the United States Federal Government. USBC looks forward to the work the SBA, DOT, and MBDA will do together in this endeavor.