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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Introduces Bill to Expand Access to Procurement for Minority Small Business

Yesterday, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke introduced H.R. 2921, the Expanding Opportunities for Small Business Act of 2011. During these trying economic times, we must do everything to ensure that our nation’s small businesses, especially socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses can create jobs.


“This bill expands small business opportunity to access federal procurement opportunities under the Section 8(a) Business Development Program,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.  “It also calls on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study that provides Congress with the recommendations that increases procurement by minority, women, and veteran owned small business.” 


H.R. 2921 would:


        ·         Increases 8(a) eligibility by 3 years and, upon graduation from the 8(a) program, provide two years of SBA technical assistance;


        ·         Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the top five performers with regards to disadvantaged/women/veteran goal achievement with an emphasis on providing policy recommendations to improve the performance of underperforming agencies.; and


        ·         Increases the target of socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses procuring federal contracts by 3%.


“Minority owned businesses tend to hire minorities and have a greater tendency to serve minority communities.  Continuing to provide minority businesses with the tools to survive is how we will combat high unemployment rates.  As our national unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, with the rate for African Americans minorities around 16.7 percent and 11.3 percent for Hispanics, it is imperative that these small businesses have the resources they need to succeed and create jobs,” said Congresswoman Clarke.


“It is important to remember that small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms and contribute nearly 45% of all private payrolls in the U.S.  As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I believe this bill will help small businesses, especially those in minority communities, allowing those businesses to expand and hire more employees.  I will continue to work with my colleagues and fight to push for a renewed focus on how we can help our veteran, women and minority owned small business turn this stagnant unemployment rate around,” concluded Rep. Yvette D. Clarke