Small Business Majority Praises Senate Approval of Amendment to Build Equity and Inclusion for Small Business Owners of Color

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, August 5, 2021

Statement from Awesta Sarkash, Government Affairs Director, Small Business Majority, on expanding the reach of the Minority Business Development Agency and the opportunities to promote entrepreneurship

"We applaud today's approval of an amendment to expand and make permanent the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This provision will bolster entrepreneurship and promote a level playing field for minority-owned businesses. The U.S. Senate's approval to include this authorization in the bipartisan infrastructure package currently being debated is a crucial step to helping entrepreneurs of color overcome traditional and modern barriers to starting or growing their businesses. 

Small business owners of color have endured decades of disparities in access to funding and resources and struggled to access funding even before the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated long-standing, underlying problems in our business ecosystems. Because of this problematic history, we have long called for more funding and resources for business assistance providers and trusted community-based organizations that focus on supporting minority-owned businesses, such as the MBDA. We strongly support expanding their reach and funding resources this agency needs to provide free and low-cost training for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs of color. These providers offer essential resources like financial literacy and wellness and assistance in expanding procurement opportunities that are often not included with federal grant and loan programs.

Federal COVID-19 relief programs designed to help small businesses keep their doors open often left business owners of color behind. These programs did not properly consider the unique experiences, history with traditional banking systems, and limited access to resources available to minority-owned businesses. Business owners of color are already three times more likely to get denied a loan than their counterparts, which creates tremendous challenges when trying to start a business. We are glad to see bipartisan support for this amendment that will build the next generation of small business owners in minority communities and create new programs that will foster entrepreneurship. 

During the pandemic, minority-owned businesses faced the brunt of revenue loss and business closures. This authorization and expansion is an essential step towards building an equitable and inclusive economy and creating a more solid path for small businesses owners of color on their road to recovery."


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 80,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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