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Sen. Alex Padilla Introduces Legislation to Help Underserved Businesses Compete for Transportation Funding

Tanu Henry and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

The federal government is investing more than $400 billion in projects around the United States through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was passed by President Biden in 2021. 

To assist minority-and-women-owned businesses benefit from the federal investment, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) recently introduced two bills in Congress: The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services Expansion Act and the Accelerating Small Business Growth Act.

“Small businesses, particularly those that are minority-and women-owned, hold enormous potential to bolster our economy, but they have historically faced disproportionate barriers to succeed in America,” said Padilla in a statement. 

“The unprecedented investment in American infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over the next decade provides a major opportunity to create good-paying jobs that uplift disadvantaged communities,” Padilla continued. “These bills would provide the resources to help women and minority entrepreneurs develop self-sufficiency in competing for federal contracts, helping to build prosperity in communities that have too often been left behind.” 

President Biden has committed to increasing the participation of disadvantaged businesses in government contracting by 50% by 2025. 

If passed, among other provisions, the bills would increase funding by $15 for a training program that helps minority-owned small businesses compete for federal government contracts. 

It would “create a grant program to fund transportation agency programs to help underserved businesses grow and compete on an equal basis for contracts and subcontracts in federally funded transportation projects,” according to a press release from Padilla’s office.

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