VP Kamala Harris Announces Public-Private Sector Efforts To Promote Racial Equity

Vice President Kamala Harris announced several new efforts by the Biden-Harris administration and private sector shareholders to distribute capital and resources to underserved small businesses.

According to a White House release, the Biden-Harris administration will make new federal investments in underserved small businesses. Investments include the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issuing a memorandum to federal agencies setting individualized goals for 12 percent of 2023 government-wide procurement dollars to go to small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs).

Additionally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will propose a rule to expand its lender base by lifting the moratorium on new small business lending companies (SBLCs). This will allow the SBA to grow the number of lenders that receive its loan guarantee, which will increase small business lending, particularly in smaller-dollar and underserved areas.

“Today, Black entrepreneurs are three times more likely to report they did not apply for a loan for fear of being turned away by a bank,” Harris said at a White House Press Conference Tuesday.

“Often, anecdotally, because they heard about that experience from friends and relatives.”

Harris added Black and Latino homeowners, immigrant business owners, and Native Americans face numerous barriers when it comes to applying for home loans, accessing capital, and other traditional financial services.

As part of the effort, the Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA) will issue a $100 million notice of funding opportunity to provide technical assistance grants for entrepreneurs in need of assistance to help socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDIs) and businesses.

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund will solicit public comment on CDFI certification requirements as well as the designation of a Minority Lending Institution (MLI). The fund is already in the process of updating the requirements and standards for CDFI certification.

“So, when we talk about the work we are doing here together, it is recognizing that and being guided by this principle of what we must do in the spirit and in the interest of equity,” said Harris. “And to do this, one of the aspects of the success we have seen so far is the benefit and the incredible power of public-private partnership—the public and the private sector joining together.”

Harris also announced new private sector investments in underserved communities including a partnership of more than 20 corporations and foundations to catalyze private investments to address disparities and accelerate inclusive economic opportunity.

The 20 corporations include Bank Of America, Capital One, Mastercard, McDonald’s, McKinsey & Company, Micron, Momentus Capital, Moody’s, and Netflix.