Obama administration to aid minority-owned small business

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(NNPA)—The Obama administration has announced efforts to increase access to contracting opportunities for minority-owned small businesses.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills announced a government-wide plan that includes federal agency procurement officials holding or participating in more than 200 events over 90 days to share information on government contracting opportunities, including those available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The outreach is aimed at helping the federal government meet or exceed the goal of 23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses.

“Small and minority-owned business must play a significant role in our efforts to restore economic growth. Small businesses employ half of the nation’s private sector workforce; create a large share of the nation’s new jobs and introduce many groundbreaking ideas into the marketplace,” said President Barack Obama. “It is essential we provide our nation’s small businesses with maximum practicable opportunity to participate in federal government contracting.”

Over the next 90 days, commerce and SBA will expand their outreach to fellow contracting officials across the federal government, passing along best practices for outreach and education to every agency to ensure they have the tools they need to meet their annual contracting goals.

Locke and Mills will promote small business contracting opportunities in remarks, events and discussions with small business groups across the country, including minority, women and veteran groups. Small business owners can find out about federal contracting opportunities by visiting http://www.fedbizopps.gov.

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