WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE). The event, hosted by Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University, is to officially announce and celebrate $4.7 billion over five years of collaborative efforts to support underrepresented communities and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in the Capital Region. Vice President Harris, who has led White House support for small businesses in underserved communities, will make comments and highlight new ways the Biden-Harris administration is helping small businesses access capital.
The organizations participating in this effort are all partners in the Greater Washington Partnership, a civil society alliance of business and community leaders committed to transforming the metropolitan area from Baltimore to Richmond into a leading global center for commerce, innovation and shared prosperity.
Specifically, the $4.7 billion transformation effort targets three avenues:
1. Supplier diversity: $2.6 billion in procurement spend at various suppliers and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), with priority at Black and Latinx-owned businesses. These efforts both meet critical business needs and address systemic inequalities that have created impediments to growth for these groups;
2. Racial Justice: $1.5 billion in wealth-building opportunities in underrepresented communities, such as B. Direct corporate investments in affordable housing and in community organizations that are leading place-based equity initiatives; and
3. Access to capital: $619 million for financial investments in local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). CDFIs and MDIs provide underrepresented communities with access to capital in the form of loans and strategic financing to create economic opportunity.
“The scale of this investment in this region is unprecedented and demonstrates the deep commitment of our business community to creating a fairer and more inclusive economy,” he said Peter L. Scher, Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of the Board, Greater Washington Partnership. “This is a moment for leaders from every sector to stand up and take action. We’re thrilled that so many organizations are making the kind of investments that result in tangible and lasting change. This is a testament to the power of collective action.”
Overview of the $4.7 billion effort
The $4.7 billion includes efforts from the following organizations: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Amazon, AstraZeneca, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Capital One, Clark Construction, Comcast, Deloitte, Dominion Energy, Exelon, EY , Gensler, Georgetown University, Howard University, Inova Health Systems, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kaiser Permanente, McKinsey & Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, SAIC, Thompson Hospitality, Truist, Washington Commanders and Wells Fargo.
The partnership is committed to supporting the growth and scale of diverse businesses — particularly Black and Latinx-owned businesses — by bringing together the region’s largest employers to prioritize their procurement spend with diverse suppliers. Over five years, the $2.6 billion supplier diversity effort and commitment is expected to generate approximately $3.5 billion in revenue for small and medium-sized businesses, create and sustain approximately 4,000+ jobs per year and will have a cumulative GDP effect of about $2 billion.
The partnership will augment existing supplier diversity efforts by sharing and exchanging data and best practices through their supplier diversity leadership roundtables. By focusing on supplier diversity, the partnership hopes to attract more success stories like Thompson Hospitality, a 30-year-old, minority-owned food service company based in Reston, VA, and a member of the partnership’s Inclusive Growth Strategy Council. Through its 25-year partnership with Compass Group, Thompson Hospitality has grown from $34 million to $800 million in revenue and is now the largest minority-owned food and facilities management company in the country. Proudly serving many historically black colleges and universities, Thompson Hospitality owns and operates unique restaurant brands across the United States
Partnership organizations make investments to support wealth creation for underrepresented communities across the region. For example, since January 2021, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has committed more than $795 million in soft loans and grants in its HQ2 region to create and maintain more than 4,400 affordable homes. In Arlington County, Virginia, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund increased inventory of long-term affordable multifamily housing by 22%, based on data provided by Arlington County.
Additionally, in October 2021, Exelon raised a $36 million Racial Equity Capital Fund to support minority-owned companies in the communities it serves – nearly half of which is dedicated to this region. The RockCreek-managed fund will invest much-needed debt and equity to help minority-owned companies scale.
access to capital
CDFIs and MDIs are instrumental in supporting historically underinvested communities. They provide much-needed capital to low- and middle-income communities for community facilities, affordable housing and private banking, and they provide credit to businesses facing systemic barriers to accessing capital. For example, Capital Impact Partners, a CDFI operating since 1982, has invested $277.5 million in loans and strategic financing for minority and women-owned small businesses in the Baltimore to Richmond region alone.
The partnership invites companies and organizations from all sectors to join this historic effort and believes it will be a catalyst to drive change across the capital region.
Tackling the $4.7 billion effort will require both high focus and sustained effort. As announced in April 2021, the partnership is developing an inclusive growth plan in collaboration with Deloitte. The Blueprint will provide a 10-year roadmap to close the region’s equity gaps and advance shared prosperity.
“The impact of this incredible commitment is only possible through the continued partnership, support and expertise of our employers and community partners,” he said Francesca Ioffreda, Vice President, Partnership for Inclusive Growth and Talent Initiatives. “By building on what is already working and supporting Black and Latinx-owned businesses in this region through supplier diversity efforts and strategic capital investments, we have a tremendous opportunity to build an economy that is more equitable, resilient and prosperous for all .”
The combined strengths and assets of the leaders behind these commitments, and the community partners they impact, position the region well for success. The partnership will use their social, intellectual and financial resources to advance shared prosperity and economic opportunity across the region. This collective action represents a renewed commitment to ensure that economic growth benefits all residents – regardless of zip code.
About the Greater Washington Partnership
The Greater Washington Partnership is a unique civic alliance of CEOs in the Capital Region, made up of leading public, private and nonprofit organizations committed to making the region from Baltimore to Richmond one of the best places on earth to live, work and… build a business. Working with leaders in our communities, the partnership connects and leverages the region’s exceptional assets to catalyze inclusive, actionable solutions that strengthen the capital region as a leading global center for commerce, innovation and shared prosperity.