OPINION: Biden’s common-sense plans will support Black entrepreneurs and small businesses as they recover and look to the future
Joe Biden plans to grow and strengthen Black-owned small businesses in Ohio and nationwide. Through his Build Back Better and Lift Every Voice plans, Biden will invest billions in the resources Black small business owners can leverage to drive their own success.
The former vice president will ensure access to credit and capital for Black businesses by doubling funding for community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and the state small business credit initiative that funds local lending. Biden will improve and expand the small business administration programs that most directly serve Black-owned small businesses, including the small business development centers, the SBA Microloan Program, and the 7(a) loan program.
As President, Biden will make permanent the Community Advantage Loan program to provide capital for startups and small businesses in underserved communities; and increase funding for the Minority Business Development Agency. He will also expand and strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act.
Biden recently announced $30 billion in investments to support Black, brown and Native American entrepreneurs and small business owners. His goal is to leverage that commitment into more than $150 billion in private investment. The former vice president also unveiled plans to triple federal contracting with minority-owned businesses to represent 15 percent of federal spending by 2025.
Thirty percent of Black-owned small businesses are in the caregiving and healthcare fields, and Biden’s plan will more than triple the number of community health workers in these areas. He will increase Medicaid funding and eliminate the waitlist for home and community services, creating opportunities for these businesses to access and treat more patients.
Biden’s plan for career education, training, and mentoring means that Black entrepreneurs can access the professional development they’ve all too often had to forgo to focus on building their businesses.
In addition, the former Vice President’s plan will strengthen the communities where Black-owned small businesses operate. He will invest $1.3 trillion in infrastructure nationwide in a way that especially enables underserved communities to better support local business. This includes upgrades and modernizations to 4 million buildings, and billions in funding to connect businesses via broadband and 5G cellular networks.
Biden will expand public transportation options, providing Black-owned businesses with the customers they need to thrive. His focus on environmental justice means cleaner urban communities more conducive to supporting local businesses. Expanded access to childcare means that small business owners won’t have to choose between childcare and work, and will free more Black women to start their own businesses.
That is especially important, because nowhere is the promise of Black business more evident than among Black women entrepreneurs. They represent 59 percent of all Black-owned businesses, the largest share of any racial demographic, and the only demographic in which women outnumber their male counterparts. More impressively, businesses owned by Black women grew at a rate of 179 percent between 2002 and 2012. The rest of the country grew at just 20 percent.
Since business owners build on average 12 times the net worth of non-business owners, Black-owned businesses are a pathway to upward economic mobility for our entire community.
Black-owned businesses need equity, not an ad hoc rescue or a charity campaign. They need the ownership stake that comes from a framework like Biden’s that fosters healthy, successful Black businesses. To rebuild the old economy with all its structural weaknesses and inequities would be to fall victim to the same rhetoric used by President Donald Trump, whose MAGA mantra clearly means a return to an American economy that excludes Black and brown people, in ways both unspoken and explicit.
COVID-19 did not create the inequalities that Black businesses face in our country, it merely underscored them, and further highlighted Mr. Trump’s inability to act to support Black business owners. Biden’s common-sense plans will support Black entrepreneurs and small businesses in Ohio and across the country as they recover and look to the future.
Marcia L. Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2008. She Chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations; and sits on the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services.
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