Recently, the House passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including a provision that the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) worked on that pertains to minority and women-owned small business data collection.
Americans face the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression. According to the Minority Business Development Agency, capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion of minority-owned businesses. When minority-owned firms are hampered in their growth, the U.S. loses a significant economic engine. When our government fails to provide adequate capital access to our minority firms, we end up failing to build a stronger economy.
The regulatory improvements made to small business data collection would facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws and enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of women-owned and minority owned small businesses. Furthermore, the regulation would require financial institutions to collect ethnic and gender information on small businesses. This important data will help us examine the needs for minority and women business owners and help identify areas where discrimination may exist.
"If we are to fully realize an American recovery then we must also help our minority counter parts recover as well," said Rep. Mike Honda, chair of CAPAC. "Asians have the highest rate of business ownership among all minorities, but still face substantial barriers when it comes to capital access. Systematic discrimination has incurred partly due to the lack of data. The small business data collection provision is crucial in helping policymakers shed light on areas of need."
"Promoting a lasting economic recovery depends upon ensuring every business can reach its full potential," said Rep. Judy Chu, chair of CAPAC's Economic Development Taskforce. "This provision helps minority and women-owned businesses to overcome the systemic barriers and discrimination they so often face."