Push for More Federal Contracts With Minority-Owned Business Could Lift Georgia Companies

Only 10% of contracts awarded by the federal government go to businesses that are owned by minorities.

But the White House wants to increase that percentage and it’s a goal that could mean a big economic boost for minority-owned businesses in Georgia.

Stacey Key heads the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, a non-profit organization that works to connect minority-owned businesses with either companies or government entities who need their services. She says contracts with the federal government can be a “game changer” for businesses.

“It allows them to diversify their revenue streams, it allows for multi-year contracts. There are lots of options around federal contracting,” said Key.

She says issues of scale or access to capital can sometimes pose barriers for minority-owned businesses who try to win federal contracts. But more opportunities, she says, could pay big dividends – especially in Georgia.

“We’ve got transportation, we’ve got health and human services, we’ve got military spending in this state,” said Key. “We’ve got lots of government dollars that are spent in this state.”

The Biden administration says the buying power of the federal government is one of its “most powerful tools to advance equity and build wealth in under-served communities.”

The White House wants 15% of federal contracts going to minority-owned businesses by the year 2026 – resulting in a potential increase of $100 billion to those companies nationwide.

Key says she applauds the Biden administration’s initiative, but also thinks the private sector could follow its lead in spending more with minority-owned businesses.

“Just imagine as well that if the corporate partners in this state also took that same challenge or pledge, think about the ripple effect in the state in creating wealth and jobs in communities of color,” she said.

The U.S. Black Chambers called the announcement from the White House a “major victory”.

“For over a decade, USBC has been tirelessly advocating for the inclusion of Black-owned businesses in our country’s economic infrastructure, which includes opportunities to receive federal contracts,” said Ron Busby, USBC’s president and CEO.