Obama’s Minority Report: Do Republican Presidents Cater to Small Businesses Better?

Questioning whether the current administration has been as diligent in supporting small business owners as presidents past

Minority Report was a 2002 blockbuster movie directed by Steven Spielberg that was a futuristic look at the world circa 2054. In that world, a special police department, called PreCrime, was established to apprehend criminals based on foreknowledge. Before I continue, let me clarify that I’m not equating Obama with being a criminal.

I have written several columns about Obama’s political decision to ignore the Black community because he knows they have nowhere else to go. I have also criticized him for his lack of understanding about business, especially minority business. So, it came as no surprise to me when Bloomberg News recently came out with its “minority report” that further indicated Obama’s lack of concern for the small and minority business community. This report is an ominous indicator of the state of small and minority business under the Obama administration.

According to Bloomberg News, “U.S. government contracts to Black-and Hispanic-owned small businesses fell last year for the first time in a decade, declining at a sharper rate than awards to all companies.

The BGOV Barometer shows contracts to the Black-owned firms dropped eight percent to $7.12 billion in the fiscal year that ended September 30 compared to fiscal 2010. Awards to Hispanic-owned businesses decreased seven percent to $7.89 billion, according to federal procurement data compiled by Bloomberg.

Contracts to the two minority groups fell at a faster pace than all contracts, which dipped one percent as the U.S. government slowed spending to help reduce the federal deficit. The gap may reflect stiffer competition over a shrinking pool of revenue and the recent recession’s greater impact on Black and Hispanic firms.

The only thing sadder than the Bloomberg report is the reaction by those “supposed” leaders in the minority community. “This is an alarming report and hopefully the people of good will are going to recommit themselves to erasing the vestiges of exclusion, which obviously impact small businesses,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

What did he just say? “Hopefully the people of good will?” Are you kidding me? Remember, this is the same person who said on national TV in response to the question about Obama’s lack of action on the high unemployment rate within the Black community that, “if Obama was White we [Blacks] would be marching on the White House.”

According to a Politics 360 article by Lauren Burke, “The information reported by Bloomberg arrives three months after the Obama Administration closed all five minority business development offices.” On February 16th, officials from the Commerce Department told minority members of Congress at an evening Capitol Hill meeting of the Obama Administration’s plans to close the regional Offices of the Minority Business Development Agency.

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  • James Jr.

    You leave out the small fact that President Obama did not arbitrarily make these cuts. I understand why you would do this, as it completely undermines your entire argument that Republicans help black businesses out more. The cuts you refer to are a result of unprecedented actions by the very Republicans you say are going to ‘save us’. Those same Republicans took this country to the brink of collapse to score cheap political points with their base, all under the guise of being ‘responsible fiscal conservatives’.

    • Alfred Edmond, Jr.

      James;

      I think I see your point. Don’t blame Obama for cutting off needed appendages when it was the GOP who gave our national economy gangrene?

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  • Loshonda Honda

    I want to believe that if President Obama was made aware of the decision to close MBDA’s regional offices, he would stop this stupid decision dead on its tracks. God almighty, there was a time when President Obama was a community leader; so if someone understands the importance of working directly in the community it’s him. Unfortunately, the decision to close the MBDA offices was probably made by some ignorant political appointee that will never understand the valuable work MBDA’s regional offices are performing in the community. Forty years of alleviating poverty gone because of some mid-level manager had a brain fart. I’ve read that President Obama and the First Lady are avid readers, and hopefully they will read this and come to understand how displeased our community is with the closing of these offices.

  • R. Phuti

    President Obama and his minions at the MBDA need to be called out on this!

    • Tammy Jones

      They sure do! In fact, the complaint of many black businesses is that historically the government contracts have been few and far between. Black owned businesses are more than capable of delivering on those contracts; they just aren’t selected. The situation is only going to get worse when they close the MBDA regional offices.

  • Elvira Hill

    Thats crazy. We need more black owned businesses in our community. Black owned businesses need all the help that they can get. How can anyone think of cutting Federal Government assistance to black owned businesses? We need to open more MBDA offices, not make plans close them.

  • Anthony Washington

    Anybody who tries to justify the Obama Administration’s cuts in our community is a traitor and sell out.

  • Keke D.

    I wish I had $40,000 to attend one of those fundraisers where you meet the President. I would aks him why has he forsaken the black community? Why is he cutting MBDA’S offices in Atlanta, Chicago and New York? Because he can and because he doesn’t care.

  • Yvy Adams

    Maybe we can get Mitt Romney to pledge not to close the MBDA offices. Quick, someone email Rep. Allan West to join forces with the Romney campaign to save MBDA.

  • William Q.

    Please Keep the MBDA Regional Offices Open. These offices support the growth and development of minority owned businesses.

    The MBDA Regional Offices create and facilitate growth and mentoring for Minority Owned Businesses. This is not a function that can realistically happen from Washington, DC. These offices understand their regional needs, opportunities, businesses and agencies. Most importantly, they understand the types of minority businesses in the region, the skillsets and the development requirements. They have built a rapport of strong relationships and serve as a resource to the MBDA Business Centers as well as other organizations in the region. These offices are often the FIRST interface for minority owned businesses with the federal government for obtaining business and understanding government requirements. If job creation is so important, why remove something that works in the minority communities?

    You can view and sign the petition in the White House website – petitions section.

    If there are enough signatures by May 24, 2012, the White House will review it and take action. With enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.

    Thank you.

    • William Q.

      Here is the website to sign the petition:
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  • Raul Espinosa

    As a minority champion whose commitment to the cause has now become my legacy, I would like to share a story on the failure of the Obama Outreach Strategy, which I predicted would occur when the President announced it in 2009. Here’s a link to . . . the rest of the story, http://bit.ly/Lh3kfX

    Raul Espinosa
    Founder and CEO – Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA)
    Managing Partner – Umbrella Initiative

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