Business Leaders Applaud SBA’s Improved Empower to Grow (E2G) Program

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SBA Announced Revitalization of Government Contracting Training Program on Jan. 25

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Business leaders across the country are joining the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in voicing support for the agency’s slate of major improvements to the agency’s popular 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program. These changes – launched under a new name, Empower to Grow (E2G) – include significant upgrades to the program’s core services and are designed to deliver on the SBA’s commitment under the Biden-Harris Administration to advance equity in federal procurement.

In Fiscal Year 2023, small businesses participating in the 7(j) program, submitted 3,700 bids for federal contracts, and 2,200 of those bids were awarded contracts — a win rate of 60%. More than 6,000 small businesses participated in the program and, on average, firms that received training self-reported that their percentage growth in annual revenue had increased by 45%. This adds to the SBA’s release of FY21 and FY22 federal contracting data disaggregated by race and ethnicity, which shows that small businesses in every demographic category analyzed are seeing an increase in federal contracting dollars under the Biden-Harris Administration.

“Small business growth unlocks paths to prosperity and generational wealth building in America, which is why the Biden-Harris Administration continues to prioritize equity and leveling the playing field so small business owners from historically underrepresented groups can successfully compete for over $700 billion in small business-eligible federal contracts,” said Administrator Guzman. “We’ve revitalized the 7(j) training program to launch an improved ‘Empower to Grow’ acceleration program with tools to help ready more businesses and build a diversified supplier base, which will also increase competition, innovation, and performance in the federal marketplace. We know there is more work to be done to reverse the disparities in federal procurement for America’s minority-owned businesses, and the SBA’s Empower to Grow training program will be a critical resource supporting that work.”

Leaders in the business community joined Administrator Guzman in celebrating the launch of Empower to Grow:

“The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. expresses its enthusiastic support for the latest announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration on the ongoing headway to enhance small business access to federal contracts for historically marginalized entrepreneurs. The progress unveiled by the Administration aligns with our commitment to creating opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and promoting diversity within the business landscape. As champions for economic inclusion, we applaud President Biden’s historic actions to deploy nearly $70 billion in federal contracts to SDBs over the last year, nearly $500 million of which went to Black-owned firms. In keeping with this progress, we commend the continued emphasis on increasing transparency, streamlining processes, and ensuring fair competition in federal contracting,” said Ron Busby Sr., President and CEO of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “To maintain such progress, we encourage continued collaboration between the private sector and government agencies to implement and refine these initiatives effectively. As we highlighted three years ago during the beginning of this Administration, the USBC remains dedicated to working with the White House, policymakers, corporations, and community leaders to advance economic opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.”

“The Small Business Administration’s ‘Empower to Grow’ program represents a significant advancement in supporting small and minority-owned businesses and creating a diverse federal contracting environment, a commitment reflected in the historically higher increases in federal contracting dollars seen under the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “At the USHCC, we applaud these efforts and recognize the transformative impact of tailored training and resources for small business owners, underscoring our ongoing commitment to work with the SBA to invest in and elevate our small business community. We also acknowledge that there remains much work to be done to ensure equitable opportunities for all.”

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our nation. They create increased opportunities for families and their communities and inspire entrepreneurs to join the great American legacy of innovation and growth. Where obstacles for disadvantaged communities have existed, the Biden-Harris Administration has worked hard to remove them and expand new pathways for equity. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman’s announcement of the Management and Technical Assistance program under the new title, Empower to Grow, builds on this,” said Ying McGuire, CEO & President, National Minority Supplier Development Council. “We applaud the new tools and training this program provides to small business owners from disadvantaged communities that will allow them to access better contracting opportunities, become more competitive, and increase their families and communities’ ability to flourish. NMSDC looks forward to its continued partnership with Administrator Guzman and the rest of the Biden-Harris Administration as we pursue more growth for the entire small business community.”

“The SBA’s ‘Empower to Grow’ is an important program for America’s small businesses. The updates recently announced to the program are a good step forward, primarily the steps taken around disaggregated data,” said Rhett Buttle, President, Public Private Strategies Institute. “By providing enhanced coaching, training, and technology tools, ‘Empower to Grow’ enables these businesses to become contract-ready, fostering competition, innovation, and robust performance in federal spending.”

“New data reveals a historic surge in federal contracting dollars awarded to small businesses, boosting America’s competitiveness and contributing to the economy. This trend reflects the work of the Small Business Administration and the Biden-Harris Administration’s policies, which have led to sustained economic growth across the country,” said Tammy Halevy, Executive Director, Reimagine Main Street. “Yet despite strong improvements in contracting, disparities persist. The ‘Empower to Grow’ initiative, which will result in even more contract-ready small and disadvantaged diverse-owned businesses, will further enhance American innovation, supply chain resilience, and competitiveness of the U.S. economy.”

“In recent years, Biden-Harris Administration policies have generated unprecedented success in federal contracting dollars reaching small businesses, but so many historic disparities still persist,” said Shaundell Newsome, Founder of Sumnu Marketing, Small Business For America’s Future Co-Chair. “The SBA’s ‘Empower to Grow’ initiative reinforces a commitment to continuous economic improvement by taking a proactive stance in closing gaps and ensuring business owners have all the tools they need at their disposal. Small and disadvantaged businesses can thrive when we ensure a level playing field.”

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

CONTACT: Rebecca.Galanti@sba.gov U.S. Small Business Administration rebecca.galanti@sba.gov

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