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Rep. Clarke Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Minority, Women, and Veteran-Owned Construction Small Businesses

Yesterday, Representative Yvette D. Clarke introduced the H.R.3771, Veteran, Minority and Women-Owned Construction Business Mentorship and Grant Assistance Act of 2009. This legislation will provide support to minority, women and veteran-owned small construction businesses through mentorship and grant assistance programs. Small and emerging businesses are often at a disadvantage, especially in the challenging and competitive construction business environment.


“I am pleased to introduce this legislation, as it will bring opportunity to thousands of small businesses across the country and those in the 11th Congressional District of New York,” stated Rep. Clarke. “During these difficult economic times, we must ensure that the small business, particularly veteran, minority and women-owned businesses, are able to access proper training, mentorship opportunities, and resources for their business to grow.”

The bill amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to establish grant programs for minority, veteran, and women-owned small business construction companies. These small businesses would be able to apply for federal grant funds to hire legal, accounting, and business consultants for the purpose of creating internal business systems that will enable sustained growth. Businesses will be in a better position to qualify for financial and surety credit, necessary for the prosperity of construction businesses.

A second grant fund will provide funding for vocational/technical schools, community colleges, and other entities to encourage the development and administration of small business construction and risk management curricula. This program will benefit new businesses that lack formal training and resources necessary for capacity building and prosperity.

“The federal government must continue to play a unique role in assisting small businesses, as they are the backbone of our nation’s economy,” stated Rep. Clarke.