Economic Stimulus and MBEs

by February 9, 2009

NMSDC, the regional Councils, MBELate Friday, the U.S. Senate approved a pared back stimulus bill of approximately $827 billion, down from the over $900 billion bill passed by the House. This bill is in response to the deepest decline in gross domestic product and employment since 1974. The Senate bill eliminated several features including funding for computerized health records, Medicaid funding to the states, and tax breaks …
The Senate bill eliminated several features including funding for computerized health records, Medicaid funding to the states, and tax breaks for alternative energy production. Now it is up to the House and Senate to sit down and work out a single bill that would be sent to President Obama for his signature, before becoming law.

The horse has already left the barn in terms of the what the priorities are in the bill. For a summary of the Senate bill’s spendi ng provisions and tax provisions click on the links. (Some of the items in this summary were eliminated Friday.) But it is important for MBEs and our corporate members to become familiar with what might be the most important domestic legislation in decades.

The NMSDC, the regional Councils, MBEs and corporate members have an interest in making sure that the money that will be expended in this bill for goods and services are consistent with the federal procurement policy with regards to minority owned and managed businesses. MBEs in particular must not idly sit by and watch hundreds of billions be expended without their participation. This most certainly will be the case if MBEs do not demand that they be given the opportunity to compete for the federal contracts that will result from this legislation.

We as an organization cannot lobby. But MBEs can and should write to their local and federal elected officials to let them know that you want to be at the table as these opportunities are being created. My recommendation is that MBEs write emails to their Governor, their U.S. Senators, their Representative and their mayor. A sample of an email/letter is given below.

To contact your Representative visit U.S. House of Representatives. To contact your two U.S. Senators visit U.S. Senate Members. To contact your governor follow the links below:

Governor State of North Carolina
Governor State of South Carolina

A Sample Letter

Dear Governor/Senator/Representative/Mayor,

My name is Fred McKinney and I am an owner of FM, LLC. My company is in the economic consulting industry. We started in 1997 with one employee and have grown to 12 employees today. Our company is certified by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council which is the regional affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. As a business owner, a taxpayer and voter in this state/district/city, I want to express my concern that the economic stimulus package will not pay sufficient attention to stimulating small minority enterprises like mine. The expressed purpose of the stimulus package is to increase employment and rekindle economic activity. Firms with less than 20 employees account for over 21 million workers and over 60 percent of new job growth. Minority owned firms employed over 7 million workers and also employ a significantly higher proportion of minority employees. It is my hope that you will insist that the economic stimulus does not forget this important segment of the U.S. economy.


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