The Obameter

Increase minority access to capital

"Strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms."


Economic stimulus sends money to minority-owned business

The Small Business Administration is one of several federal agencies that has seen its mission expanded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Officials with the SBA said the stimulus has provided $14.7 billion in small business loans as of Nov. 13, 2009. Twenty percent of that has gone to minority-owned firms. (Just FYI, rural firms received 26 percent, women-owned firms received 19 percent and veteran-owned firms have received 9 percent.)

Additionally, on Aug. 18, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Small Business administrator Karen Mills announced a public outreach to small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans to tell them about contracts available through the economic stimulus. Officials said their goal was to host or participate in 200 events over 90 days to share information on government contracting opportunities.

This is not to say that advocates for minority-owned businesses are entirely pleased with the administration. Time magazine reported that in some cases, stimulus money is bypassing low-income communities and going to more affluent areas where there are fewer minority-owned businesses. The Obama administration has said it's working to make sure stimulus money goes to disadvantaged business enterprises.

Still, it's hard not to see the stimulus as increasing access to capital, and the Obama administration is specifically targeting minority-owned businesses. We rate it Promise Kept.


Correspondence with Hayley Matz of the Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration, Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Increase Access to Contracting Opportunities for Minority-Owned, Small Businesses , Aug. 18, 2009

Time magazine, Are Minorities Being Fleeced by the Stimulus? , Nov. 23, 2009