GLI URGES LAWMAKERS TO FURTHER SUPPORT MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES WITH ADDITIONAL FUNDING
Our regional business community greatly appreciates your leadership as Congress has worked to help protect public health, stabilize the American economy, and provide relief for employers and small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses and workers in greater Louisville have already begun accessing support through the CARES Act and other steps that Congress has taken. We all know, however, that much greater investment and more federal resources will be needed to guide our region and the rest of the country through this crisis.
As Congress continues evaluating the most effective next steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge lawmakers to pay particular attention to the needs of minority-owned businesses. While the CARES Act included language to support minority-owned businesses through increased funding for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), it is imperative that Congress take further actions to support these employers and entrepreneurs.
Throughout the United States, there are an estimated 8 million minority-owned businesses, with more than 27,000 in Kentucky and more than 61,000 in Indiana, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. These small businesses employ, on average, eight employees per firm and generate an annual $1.4 trillion in gross receipts. Studies have shown that minority business owners have historically lacked the same access to capital, credit, and mentorship often available to non-minority business owners.
In the unprecedented times in which we are living, it is critical that Congress work proactively to support minority business owners and entrepreneurs. In Congress’ next legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage lawmakers to consider the following proposals to ensure minority-owned businesses have full access to the relief they need:
• Funding for Small Business Development Centers or other agencies to expand programming focused on training and mentoring small minority-owned businesses on how to respond to the pandemic and appropriately adapt their business models and HR practices.
• Targeted loan and grant programs reserved specifically for minority business owners and entrepreneurs.
• Efforts to strategically increase the number of lenders in underserved neighborhoods and communities certified to administer loan programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program and other disaster relief financing. We recognize that the many needs of our country are bearing down on the federal government as this crisis continues. But it is critical that we ensure our full business community can survive this pandemic and contribute to a vibrant and productive economic recovery.
Condrad Daniels, President HJI Supply Chain Solutions,Minority Business Support Chair, Greater Louisville Inc.
Mayor Greg Fischer, Major, City of Louisville
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President & CEO, Greater Louisville Inc.