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SBA aims to boost Black Business Dollars

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) aims to boost federal contracting dollars for Black businesses through an upgraded government contract training program and other initiatives. The agency is revitalizing its SBA 7(j) Training Program, now known as Empower to Grow (E2G), to enhance small, disadvantaged businesses’ readiness for federal contracting, as stated in a recent SBA press release. (Black Enterprise February 5, 2024)

This revamped program coincides with the release of new data from fiscal years 2022 and 2021, indicating record-breaking federal contracting dollars for small businesses across various demographics, including an uptick in contracting dollars for Small Disadvantaged Businesses. (ibid)

In line with these efforts, the Biden-Harris administration has announced measures to broaden small business access to federal contracts, recognizing the federal government’s significant purchasing power globally. The White House specifically acknowledges the E2G program when discussing strategies to bolster support for small businesses and ultimately building wealth in underserved communities. (ibid)

President Joe Biden has set an ambitious goal of allocating 15% of federal prime contracting to small, disadvantaged businesses (SDB) by fiscal year 2025, potentially injecting $100 billion into minority-owned and underserved businesses. (ibid)

The SBA underscores that the E2G program represents just one facet of comprehensive efforts by the Biden-Harris administration and the SBA to achieve the SDB goal. Already, these efforts have resulted in a half-billion-dollar increase in federal contracts awarded to Black-owned small businesses in 2023. (ibid)

SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman emphasizes the role of small business growth in job creation and community strengthening, highlighting the administration’s commitment to equity and a level playing field for all small business owners. (ibid)

Despite progress, disparities persist, with Black-owned small businesses receiving $9.5 billion from federal contracts in 2022, up $490 million from 2021, while Native Americans captured $19 billion, up $1.62 billion from the previous year. However, these figures pale in comparison to the almost $163 billion spent on all federal contracts that year.(ibid)

Acknowledging these disparities, the SBA is actively addressing barriers to entry for Black businesses in securing government contracts. Additional resources are being allocated to assist more disadvantaged business owners, including Black firms, in overcoming these barriers. (ibid)

Program enhancements to E2G include customizable one-on-one coaching and expanded offerings tailored to the needs of Black-owned firms, with the aim of facilitating connections with state and local contracting opportunities.(ibid)

E2G will introduce new tools to access $2 trillion in state and local bid opportunities, further bridging the gap for Black-owned firms seeking state and local contracting opportunities. (ibid)

The SBA emphasizes that the program’s impact on contracting dollars for Black-owned businesses hinges on participation, with the bid win rate expected to rise due to the heightened emphasis on added E2G resources. (ibid)

Would you like to know more about the program enhancements, one-on-one coaching and expanded offerings of E2G? Give us a call.