Today (Nov. 8) is the final day to comment on proposed changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a federal program that encourages government agencies, including the Department of Defense, NASA and the Coast Guard, to do business with minority-owned small businesses.
The changes, proposed by the Obama administration in September, would eliminate the program, which aims to award 5 percent of its business to minority-owned companies. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed changes can submit their comments via the Federal Register.
The proposal deletes several mechanisms of help for minority-owned small businesses from the Federal Acquisition Regulation without providing new ways to assist qualified businesses, according to the American Small Business League, a nonprofit group that regularly calls for transparency in the Small Business Administration and claims that the federal government is not meeting its goals of awarding nearly a quarter of its contracts to small-business owners.
The ASBL estimates that if the proposal is implemented, minority-owned small businesses could lose billions of dollars in federal contracts annually, which could lead to the loss of millions of jobs.
"It is unbelievable that, during one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history, the Obama administration would allow vital programs that help create jobs for minorities to fall," said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman. "Minority business owners need to tell the administration that we need these programs."