Hey, Congress! Stop Targeting Communities of Color!
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I am a longtime advocate for minority businesses and I am gravely concerned about President Trump’s proposed 2017 budget. The proposed budget threatens to not only cut funding to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) but to eliminate it entirely.
Depriving these business owners of the resources and connections that they need to continue to grow and anchor their communities would be absolutely catastrophic.
Although minority businesses have made great strides - from 322,000 at the MBDA’s 1969 beginning to over 8 million today - there is still plenty of work to be done to address the wealth disparity between minority business owners and non-minority business owners. For every dollar that a white-owned business makes, on average, a minority owned business only makes twenty nine cents. The Minority Business Development Agency was created to help close this wealth gap, and its impacts are felt all over the country.
Thanks to the MBDA’s support, minority entrepreneurs play a crucial role in our economy:
- Generate an extraordinary amount of wealth: $1 trillion in yearly revenue, which is roughly equal to Mexico’s GDP
- Own a significant number of American businesses: 7.9 million, just over 20% of all businesses
- Employ 7 million people: over 10% of all paid employees; more than the combined populations of Chicago and Los Angeles
- Strengthen our country’s global position: minority owned businesses are twice as likely to export
In many communities of color, minority-owned businesses are the main drivers of economic activity, providing:
- Income Security
The United States is only getting more diverse:
- by 2050, there will be no racial majority
- new immigrants and their children will account for over 80% of the growth in the working-age population.
Diversity is our country’s strength, and we need our entrepreneurs to reflect our population as a whole if we are to take full advantage of the benefits that this can have both in our communities here and in cementing our global competitiveness. The MBDA ensures that our minority-owned businesses are equipped with the tools to compete both at home, with its technical assistance providers, and abroad, through its Global Export Initiative.
I cannot stress enough the importance of the MBDA to our country’s communities of color. I, along with all of this petitions supporters, urge you to continue your funding and support of the MBDA, and to provide $35 million over the next 5 years in each of the US Dept of Commerce Appropriations bills.
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