Proclamation of Minority Business Development Week, 2022
Every day, the 9.2 million minority-owned businesses in the United States provide essential goods and services to their customers and help fuel the United States economy. They develop advanced technologies, provide social services to those in need, build roads and bridges, operate restaurants and retail stores, and make vital contributions to all industries. Minority business enterprises also provide owners and employees with a sense of purpose, a source of dignity and, for some, a valuable asset to pass down from generation to generation. During Minority Business Development Week, we celebrate the ingenuity and dedication of America’s minority entrepreneurs, and pledge to help all Americans access the resources they need to build successful businesses and a nation. fairer and more prosperous.
Minority business enterprises generate $1.8 trillion in annual GDP and provide income for millions of workers, but many of these enterprises suffer from vestiges of historic discrimination. Barriers to accessing capital, barriers to entering new markets, and limited access to government contracts make it difficult for operators to start and grow their businesses. Minority business owners are still more likely to be denied loans, earn less income and employ fewer workers than their non-minority counterparts. Today, businesses owned by Black Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders make up about 18% of employer businesses, but receive just over 10% of federal procurement spending. These disparities contribute to America’s racial wealth gap; estimates suggest that differences in business ownership account for 20% of the wealth gap between the average white household and the average black household.
My administration is committed to changing that. We have taken historic steps to address the chronic underinvestment in black and brown communities by improving access to capital and markets. Our US bailout set up the Treasury Department’s $10 billion Small Business Credit Initiative, which will provide funding to states, territories and tribal governments to establish loan and investment programs for small high street businesses and start-ups in disadvantaged areas. The bipartisan Infrastructure Act made permanent the Minority Business Development Agency, the only federal agency dedicated to connecting minority-owned businesses with private lenders, exporters, and public and private sector buyers; and it orders the Department of Transport to prioritize contracts with disadvantaged small businesses. My administration is also using the enormous purchasing power of the federal government to drive change: we have pledged to increase the share of federal contracts awarded to disadvantaged small businesses by an unprecedented 50% by 2025, which is expected to bring minority-owned businesses as much as $100 billion in new revenue over that period.
Our work is far from over. I call on Congress to bolster funding for the Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency to support women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other underserved business owners. I also called for the expansion of the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which will help local lenders provide more credit, capital and financial support to historically neglected business owners and communities.
Since the founding of this nation, owning and operating a business has been an important path to realizing the American Dream. This week and every week, my administration will work to ensure that minority entrepreneurs have the resources to start and grow their own businesses, thereby enriching their communities and the Nation. Together we will grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle out, making sure it works for everyone.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the period from September 18 to September 24, 2022, as Minority Business Development Week. I call on the people of the United States to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of minority-owned and business owners and commit to promoting systemic economic equality.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed my signature this sixteenth day of September in the year of grace two thousand and twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-seventh.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.