Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of HUD, “There has been no other federal program that has allowed the development of so many Black millionaires than the 8a program. We exploited that in our procurement sector and no other agency has been doing more in minority business than us.”
Joshua Smith, Chair, President’s Minority Business Taskforce, “There is a need to put the 8a program under the management of the Minority Business Development Agency. It would be better served there than at the SBA.”
Secretary Jackson was correct and Joshua Smith’s firm was doing very well. But the SBA resented their success and went after them. Secretary Jackson spent millions in defending himself from going to jail on trumped up charges. Joshua Smith, my friend, was immediately expelled from the 8a program and also spent millions fighting a phony fraud charge.
My point is this. The federal government isn’t too excited about Black firms succeeding in the federal procurement sector. More than a few of our members get set up by federal agencies as they try to succeed via the 8a program. Those who excel will have trouble being paid on time and being falsely accused of poor performance. The 8a program was established by the late Congressman Parren J. Mitchell. He caught hell for the program but he got it established as law.