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In Removing Obstacles for Black Business Success, the Federal Government has a Role

February 28, 2023 — Modern Economy Project

At the Modern Economy Project, we work every day to connect policymakers with the current economic reality – and find ways to ensure the conversation in Washington is based on that reality.

And as we mark the end of Black History Month, we are spotlighting some of the obstacles that Black-owned and operated businesses face, and how the federal government can ensure expanded economic opportunity for all Americans.

Founded by Sylvia Weddington, Weddington Relocation Management is a perfect example of an innovative, successful, Black-owned business.

Among other specialties, Weddington Relocation offers turn-key real estate and relocation services. The company has helped over 200 corporations and their teams transition seamlessly to a new city, filling a gap that provides a given company’s employees a way to focus on the work that matters most during such transitions.

Weddington Relocation is a success story: the only relocation management company in its area, with experience and capabilities that can benefit both private sector employers, and federal agencies – and Sylvia has worked for years to secure a federal contract.

Unfortunately, those federal contracts have gone elsewhere. Even as it’s clear to see how Sylvia’s expertise could benefit any government department or agency moving into a new office space, her story represents a common trend about the difficulty small, independent Black-owned businesses have securing federal contracting opportunities.

Ron Busby is President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers (a Modern Economy Project founding member) and has highlighted disparities in the distribution of contract dollars typically awarded to minority-owned firms.

Sylvia isn’t giving up, though. She’s currently paying to take a costly workshop to learn tips on how to better compete for these contracts and raise her business to the next level.

Sylvia’s challenge speaks to the unnecessary obstacles to Black-owned firms that must be addressed if the federal government is to ensure more equal opportunity.

The Modern Economy Project believes that all federal agencies must strive to modernize, and, critically, demonstrate more transparency in how small businesses and firms can better compete for federal resources and contracts. By simplifying – and boosting transparency in – procurement process, we can ensure the best businesses providing services for American taxpayers.

Our coalition is focused on a modern government. And that means one that uses its dollars – including the more than $600 billion each year for business contracts – to expand opportunities for all businesses.

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