For Release: Friday May 7, 2021
Contact: Malcom Fox, 202-227-1701, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC – Councilmember McDuffie secured funding for two key initiatives in the FY21 budget that DMPED moved forward today. First, the District has announced the initiation of the Disparity Study to understand the disparities in contracting in D.C. and to serve as the legal predicate for establishing a Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program. Second, the Equity Impact Fund Grant Program will start accepting applications to connect businesses with access to capital who would otherwise struggle to get it.
“I secured funding for these two programs because women and minority entrepreneurs deserve fair and meaningful opportunities to share in the District’s prosperity,” said Councilmember McDuffie. “For too long, diverse business owners have struggled to obtain procurement opportunities and access capital. These measures are meaningful steps forward to create a more just and inclusive economy.”
In the FY21 budget, Councilmember McDuffie secured $750,000 dollars to fund this disparity study and $1.25M dollars to seed the Equity Impact Fund, both critical investments to ensure the District’s economic prosperity is more widely accessible. A disparity study is required to recreate the District’s MWBE designation, so more residents can participate in the District’s nearly $1B procurement portfolio. Councilmember McDuffie also requested an additional $5M for the Equity Impact Fund in the FY22 budget request letter he sent to the Mayor.
These initiatives build upon Councilmember McDuffie’s numerous legislative accomplishments that provided financial relief for small businesses and chipped away at the District’s economic inequities, notably:
- Passed legislation that served as the basis for DMPED’s $100M Bridge Fund Grant Program
- Passed the Small Business Recovery Microgrant program through our committee that has awarded 6,481 DC small businesses over $30 million dollars in accumulative economic relief.
- Established a new Equity Impact Enterprise designation to address procurement impediments
- Secured $200,000 in recurring funds for the DC Anchor Partnership which focuses on increasing procurement with DC-based minority-owned businesses.
- Secured a $1M investment in Industrial bank, the only Black-owned bank in DC, and have requested additional funding for MDIs to ensure entrepreneurs from historically disadvantaged backgrounds can better secure access to capital.