Fruits of Whose Labor?

Minority businesses worry they may be overlooked when stimulus contracts get doled out

Rick Wade, senior adviser to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, says most notifications for grants and contracts have yet to be posted and agencies are still developing guidance on the bidding and award process. However, he says the Minority Business Development Agency (www.mbda.gov) under the guidance of its new leader David Hinson, is committed to helping minority businesses navigate the Recovery Act’s procurement process.

Rep. William “Lacy” Clay Jr. (D-Mo.), who tracks projects in his state as they are announced, says the best way to find out what contracts are available, and for whom, is to be an engaged entrepreneur. He adds, “It helps to have a proactive member working hand in hand with the small businesses to make sure they participate in the recovery.”

Where’s the MONEY?

From the $787 billion 2 Year Economic Stimulus Bill:

$174.9 billion has been disbursed

$5.9 billion contracting dollars have been allocated through the Recovery Act

$1.2 billion (20%) has gone to small businesses

$735 million (12.4%) to nearly 600 minority-owned businesses

(Source: Small Business Administration as of July 2009)

This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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