October 13, 2011
Petaluma, Calif. – Today, Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League (ASBL), sent a series of open letters to minority leaders across the country asking them to help stop a policy that could cost minority communities millions of jobs.
On Friday, September 9, the Obama administration announced plans to end a federal program that established a five percent minority-owned small business federal contracting goal for the Department of Defense, NASA and the U.S. Coast Guard. According to text from the Federal Register, this proposed change “may have an effect on SDBs (Small Disadvantaged Businesses) seeking awards as prime contractors.” Chapman argues that the negative economic impact will be significant.
In Chapman’s letter he stated:
“It is difficult to understand why, in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history, and when unemployment has hit minority communities especially hard, the Obama administration would end one of the most successful programs to create jobs for minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the jobless figure for African Americans is 16 percent and 11.3 percent among Hispanics. Close to 35 percent of the U.S. population is made up of ethnic minorities and 5.8 million businesses are minority-owned. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, small businesses create 90 percent of all net new jobs in America. I estimate that this change will divert billions of dollars in federal contracts away from minority-owned small business, thwarting the power of those businesses to expand and hire.”
The ASBL is working with minority leaders nationwide to block this policy. Minority businesses have until November 8, 2011 to comment on the proposed policy in the Federal Register.
Specifically Chapman wants minority leaders to tell President Obama, Congress, the U.S. Justice Department and the media that there is indeed discrimination in federal contracting, and that this program needs to be saved.