Tuesday, February 03, 2009

National Black Chamber of Commerce Senate Testimony

On January 29, 2009, the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) participated in a business roundtable session for the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which is chaired by the Honorable Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana. The NBCC participants were Harry C. Alford, President/CEO, pictured at right; Timothy Adams, NBCC Board Member and D’Juan Hernandez, a Board Member of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce. Some of the highlights of that session include:

  • The Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has become for the most part a “joke” in terms of effectiveness and authority (with the exception of HUD).
  • The Office of Management and Budget has become no friend of minority business. Every time there is an “emergency” such as 9/11, Iraq War, Katrina, Bailout, etc. the first thing OMB does is declare a waiver from the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and eliminates affirmative action.
  • When the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. was formed the SBA had an annual budget of about $900 million. Today, that budget is about $470 million.

The NBCC concluded that procurement, capital access and inclusion into major programs should be high priority.

Harry C. Alford Comments

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