Biden-Harris Administration Announces Groundbreaking Partnerships to Connect Disadvantaged Small Businesses to Infrastructure Programs

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DOT to Host Business Forum to Improve Access to Capital and Resources Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Act

Washington, Sept. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, US Small Business Administration (SBA), USDOT’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced partnerships to help disadvantaged small businesses access the resources they need to succeed. These partnerships will support the Biden administration’s whole-of-government efforts to support American businesses.

To kick off the partnerships, the agencies are hosting a business forum at USDOT headquarters today, September 20. The forum aims to help disadvantaged small businesses and improve their access to capital, resources and connections – ensuring that everyone can benefit from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

The forum includes several panels with business leaders and senior Biden-Harris administration officials, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman, and U.S. Department of Commerce Undersecretary for Minority Business Development Don R Cravins Jr. federal, state and municipal transportation. It offers small business owners the opportunity to hear first-hand from government officials how they can successfully market their services to state and federal agencies.

USDOT aims for 20% of our federal contracts to go to disadvantaged small businesses – a major goal set by President Biden to help ensure that the work to build America back better benefits everyone.

“Thanks to President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we are making historic investments in our transportation infrastructure – and this represents a major opportunity for historically excluded Americans and small businesses in our country,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These new initiatives with our partners at SBA and MBDA will help more small business owners secure federal contracts to modernize our country’s infrastructure for decades to come.” “These historic agreements between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation will leverage loans, investment capital, and support from the SBA to help ensure that small businesses receive the financing they need to build the America’s Critical Infrastructure Systems”, said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman. “I am grateful to Secretary Buttigieg and the USDOT team for their close partnership with the SBA and MBDA. Strong interagency collaboration to support our country’s small, disadvantaged entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and other businesses is essential to moving forward. President Biden’s vision to build a better America and an economy that works for everyone.”

“Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and a key driver of economic growth and opportunity,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Through the leadership of President Biden, this administration is committed to ensuring small businesses and minority-owned businesses have access to the opportunities created by historic infrastructure investments. The partnership between the Department of Transportation and the Minority Business Development Agency will engage and support disadvantaged small businesses to help strengthen our supply chains and help America stay globally competitive.

The partnerships are embodied in three memorandums of understanding between USDOT and SBA and USDOT and MBDA, which advance the administration’s commitment to ensure fairness in procurement initiatives and strengthen support from USDOT to training, capacity building and technical assistance in bonding and business development.

The first memorandum of understanding between USDOT and SBA will help both agencies better support Disadvantaged Small Businesses (SDBs) and Disadvantaged Commercial Enterprises (DBEs) in the transportation industry by removing systemic barriers that have historically prevented SDBs and DBEs from fully benefiting from contracting opportunities from the government. It will help small businesses in the transportation industry obtain bonds or increase their bonding capacity to participate in DOT-funded projects.

The second memorandum of understanding between USDOT and SBA reflects both agencies’ commitments to provide additional access to capital for small businesses, with an emphasis on Small Disadvantaged Enterprises (SDBs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). The MOU will make available to DOT stakeholders the network of resources related to the SBA Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and support from the SBA Office of Investment and Innovation to facilitate the access to private capital for small businesses (with an emphasis on SDB and DBE businesses) pursuing contractual opportunities resulting from the bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

The Memorandum of Understanding between USDOT and MBDA will help both agencies better engage and grow minority business enterprises (MBEs) underrepresented in national transportation supply chains and related high-growth industries, through coordinated data sharing and reporting tools.

These memorandums of understanding and the Business Forum event are vital examples of the work the Biden-Harris administration is doing to support small businesses, ensure they are “contract ready” and advance the equity — especially as agencies scramble to deliver on the promise of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. to create well-paying union jobs and grow our economy so everyone has a chance to succeed.


About the United States Small Business Administration

The United States Small Business Administration helps fuel the American dream of business ownership. As the single, go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA gives entrepreneurs and small business owners the resources and support they need to start, grow, or grow their business, or recover from a declared crisis. disaster. It provides services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

CONTACT: Press Office United States Small Business Administration [email protected]