It’s an understatement to say that California’s small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession. And while our state has given out several billion dollars in emergency grants, there is much more we should be doing.
Every year, the State of California awards between $8 and $10 billion on contracts to businesses of all sizes. I recently introduced a new bill, AB 915, that would harness this massive purchasing power.
AB 915 would mandate that California awards at least 25% of those contracts to small businesses, disabled veterans business enterprises, and businesses that are women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, or minority-owned. Additionally, it would require that every state agency enact an “Economic Equity First” principle, and submit annual reports to the legislature on their progress to the 25% goal.
Right now, only 12 of California’s 231 agencies have a small business or disabled veteran business enterprise-oriented policy.
We have a long way to go to address the significant needs of our state’s diverse small businesses, which is why the CalAsian Chamber, the California African American Chamber of Commerce and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce are supporting my bill.
Click here to read more about this bill — which will deliver on California’s promise of economic opportunity for all, while ensuring our small businesses remain stable while we recover from COVID-19.