Before the holidays are over, the Obama administration will most likely eliminate the nation’s oldest and most successful program for directing federal infrastructure spending to minorities.
By abolishing this program, which was established by the Civil Rights act to require that five percent of federal infrastructure spending be with minority-owned small businesses, the Obama administration will cost minority-owned small businesses between $25 billion and $50 billion in losses each year.
The elimination of this program will no doubt increase the unemployment rate for minorities around the country and potentially force thousands of minority-owned companies from coast to coast to close their doors.
But unless you’ve been reading my blog or following the efforts of the American Small Business League, you probably had no idea this was happening because the government always tries to keep negative news out of the press.
For almost two decades I’ve watched federal agencies adopt policies and procedures that result in the gradual dismantling of federal programs for small businesses. Most of these policy changes are in clear violation of the Small Business Act of 1953, which mandates that 23 percent of all federal contracts must go to small businesses. Traditionally you’ll see the Whitehouse and federal agencies bury these anti-small business policy announcements in the Federal Register at times when reporters are less likely to see it, like the busy holiday season.
This seems to continue under Democrats or Republicans, most likely due to the avalanche of lobbying dollars spent by the defense and aerospace industries to acquire the majority of all federal contracts awarded each year.
On September 9, 2011, President Obama announced his administration’s initial proposal to dismantle this federal contracting program for minority-owned small businesses in as quiet a manner as possible— a densely worded, vague notice published in the Federal Register on a late Friday afternoon, while the mainstream press was in a frenzy over the ten year anniversary of 9/11 looming just two days away.
I am predicting that the Obama administration will now announce its final decision to eliminate the federal minority-owned small business spending program over the holidays— it goes without saying that the nation’s first African-American president doesn’t want to admit that he is dismantling the best federal program for minority job creation this country has ever seen.
By abolishing this program, which was established in the Civil Rights Act through the legendary activism of Martin Luther King Jr. to require that five percent of federal infrastructure spending be with minority-owned small businesses, the Obama administration will cost minority-owned small businesses between $25 billion and $50 billion in losses each year.