October 12, 2022

Here Are VP Harris’ New Plans To Support POC-Led Small Businesses

Vice President Harris has announced several new initiatives to expand opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, including people of color.

The announcement came as Harris joined Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the 2022 Freedman’s Bank Forum.

What was announced?

VP Harris’ latest efforts include: 

  • Government contracts
    A memorandum to government agencies setting individualized goals for an unprecedented 12% of 2023 federal procurement dollars to be directed towards Small, Disadvantaged Businesses.
  • New lenders
    A proposed expansion of the Small Business Administration lender base by lifting the moratorium on new Small Business Lending Companies (SBLCs), which would allow new lenders to apply for a license to offer SBA-backed 7(a) small business loans.
  • Increased technical assistance
    The Minority Business Development Agency will make available $100 million of grants for entrepreneurship technical assistance providers to help businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals launch, scale and connect with growth capital.
  • Increased accountability in funding institutions.
    Designation of a Minority Lending Institution and Solicitation of public comment by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund that is currently in the process of updating the requirements and standards for CDFI certification.

What else is being done to support POC-Led Businesses?

The Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC) has also committed to moving $1 billion in deposits to Minority Depository Institutions to increase access to affordable capital in communities of color. 

The Bank of America, Intercontinental Exchange, KeyBank, Moody’s, PayPal, Next Street, and Wells Fargo have already made an initial commitment of more than $550 million.

The announcement follows the success of recent programs such as the Emergency Capital Investment Program, which has boosted 162 historically underfunded community financial institutions nationwide with a cash injection of over $8 million so far.

What do people think about these announcements?

The Treasury Department described the announcement as part of “an effort to unlock the economic potential of communities of color, rural areas, and others that have experienced limits on economic opportunity.”

While it was met with applause from Forum attendees, it has yet to garner much of a reaction otherwise. 

Memuna Konteh

Memuna Konteh is a journalist and multidisciplinary writer who specializes in the intersections of identity culture and politics.