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Public Statements

In Honor of National Small Business Week

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 50th Anniversary of National Small Business Week.
Growing a small business is a difficult task that requires dedication and perseverance.

For a minority business owner or a woman business owner, it can be even more difficult--as demonstrated by study after study.

Because of discrimination, minorities and women frequently do not have the history of entrepreneurship, the employment background, or the wealth to start their own businesses.

And then, when they try to borrow funds to grow their businesses, woman and minorities often face discrimination yet again. Studies show us that lenders are more likely to reject minority loan applications or to charge higher interest rates to minority borrowers--even when the minority-owned or woman-owned business is similar to a white-owned business.

Finally, minority and women business owners often have a hard time breaking into the closed networks of contracting and are overlooked or even intentionally excluded when opportunities do arise. Again, study after study demonstrates that minority-owned and women-owned businesses do not participate in public contracting in the numbers that we would expect given their availability.

Programs that help level the playing field for women- and minority-owned businesses remain critical to ensuring that taxpayer money is not used to support exclusionary ``business as usual'' practices.

Today, therefore, I am submitting for the record a list of studies that substantiate these fundamental points--just as I did during the May 8, 2012, meeting of the House-Senate Conference Committee that considered the surface transportation bill that became the MAP-21 legislation, when conferees accepted the materials by unanimous consent.

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