Committee on Business and Economic Development Budget Report Advances Councilmember McDuffie’s Racial Equity Agenda

Invests in Black entrepreneurs by providing access to capital.

Operationalizes racial equity by implementing the REACH Act.

Funds a disparity study so more District procurement supports minority and women entrepreneurs.

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, June 25, 2020, the Committee on Business and Economic Development, led by Chairman Kenyan R. McDuffie, passed its budget report for Fiscal Year 2021. The budget is the culmination of months of work including public hearings, engagement with advocates and stakeholders. This budget report is focused on advancing Councilmember McDuffie’s Racial Equity Agenda.

With today’s vote in support of the budget report, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“Developed through the lens of racial equity and recognizing the disproportionate impact the public health emergency is having on communities of color, specifically black people, the Committee’s budget significantly invests in District businesses and commercial infrastructure including through capital and capacity building, access to capital for small businesses and support for minority businesses.”

  • Enacts the Racial Equity Achieves Results Act of 2019 (REACH Act) to establish the Office of Racial Equity and require all Council legislation undergo a racial equity assessment to score it for its impact on racial equity goals.
  • Funds a new disparity study that will provide the data-driven evidence needed to establish public policy goals that benefit Black and Brown people in their quest for equitable contract procurement.
  • Creates an Equity Impact Fund to provide access to capital for minority and women owned businesses, who often lack access to conventional financing options. The Equity Impact Fund will be managed by a third-party Fund Manager, outside the General Fund of the District of Columbia.
  • Establishes a new Certified Business Enterprise designation, Equity Impact Enterprises, to address structural impediments to opportunities faced by many women and minority owned businesses.
  • $2 million to establish a Go-Go music archive and for Go-Go creative economy development and support.
  • Expands funding to equity impact enterprises in Wards 5, 7, and 8, which have the three highest death tolls in the District as a result of COVID-19. Due to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19, disadvantaged businesses in these Wards need additional support.
  • Creates the Business Recovery Task Force to provide recommendations regarding the recovery of the District’s businesses following the end of the COVID-19 emergency. With one of every four businesses facing permanent closure, the District should utilize all resources across the city, both public and private, to facilitate in an equitable recovery.
  • The Committee transfers $250,000 to create interim recreation space in Ivy City, annual funding for recreational programming and creation of a new Clean Team in Ivy City.
  • Provides funding for the tax abatement passed last year for legacy business, Sankofa Video and Books, a Black-owned community store and cafe that focuses on providing a space for Black authors, filmmakers, activists, playwrights and artists to grow.

The budget report now advances to the full Council, where it is expected to pass the first of two required votes on July 7, 2020.