Vice President Kamala Harris announced new actions Tuesday that the Biden-Harris Administration would take to support small businesses as well as owners and entrepreneurs of color.

The Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to federal agencies to ensure that 12% of the fiscal year 2023 government procurement goes to small, disadvantaged businesses, the White House said. The administration also said that they would make it easier for the small business administration to issue loans to borrowers who are usually shut out of the process.

At the Freedman’s Bank Forum, Harris said that the problem of getting loans does not only apply to businesses.

“Today Black and Latino homeowners are rejected by traditional financial institutions at a higher rate when applying for home loans,” Harris said. “This is the case even when they have credit profiles similar to other applicants.”

Kamala Harris talks history, equity and race.

The forum celebrates the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company’s charter, commonly referred to as the Freedman’s Bank, which was created to provide economic opportunity for newly emancipated Americans.

The White House also said Tuesday that the Minority Business Development Agency will issue a $100 million notice of funding to provide grants for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

“President Biden and I know that for our nation to succeed, these disparities must be spoken of, acknowledged and addressed,” Harris said.

“Since taking office, I have traveled our nation and spoken to small business owners who received loans from community lenders,” Harris added. “They are in the best position to understand the needs and capacity of their community. I’ve seen how they use that capital to hire people from the community and open a new storefront on the main street.”

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