Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on President Biden's Decision to Increase Federal Contracts for DBEs and Boost Support for Minority-Owned Small Business

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

June 1, 2021

Lansing, MI-Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, has issued the following statement responding to President Biden's decision, announced this afternoon in Tulsa, to increase federal contracts for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and provide additional support for minority-owned small businesses.

"Earlier this year, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission established economic equity for Michigan's minority and women-owned businesses as a priority for its 2021 work. Last week, we unanimously passed a resolution calling for enhanced public contracting opportunities for Michigan's Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). We are gratified by President Biden's decision, announced today, to increase federal contracts for DBEs by 50% and to provide $31 billion in support for minority-owned small businesses. This federal plan follows Governor Whitmer's recent executive directive that prohibits discrimination by employers that are under contract to the state. These combined policies will provide a much-needed boost for DBEs in Michigan and beyond. Most importantly, the federal mandate provides Michigan with a template to follow in order to ensure greater equity in awarding our own public contracts. We urge Michigan to adopt a similar approach and help close the racial wealth gap that the systemic inequitable access to opportunity helped create."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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