Kamala Harris to join Greater Washington Partnership to unveil investment
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris will be joined by leaders from corporate giants in promoting a $4.7 Billion commitment to support minority-owned businesses, underrepresented communities, Washington, D.C., as well as the surrounding area.
Harris will address an audience at Howard University, where Harris, along with the Greater Washington Partnership will present the pledge, which is a multibillion-dollar, five-year-long initiative. These funds will be used to support businesses and communities throughout the Capital Region, such as Baltimore, Richmond, and Washington D.C.
Harris graduated from Howard University, Washington’s prestigious historically Black college. At the event, other Biden administration officials like Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary and Isabel Guzman Small Business Administrator will also be present.
A White House official told CNBC in an email on Monday that Harris will “discuss how supporting community lenders will provide more access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs and build a more fair, efficient, and equitable economy.” CNBC was informed by a spokesperson from the SBA that Guzman would be speaking on Wednesday.
This gathering is a step forward by the Biden administration and corporate leaders to help minority-owned businesses. After the 2020 killing of George Floyd, businesses and officials pledged to support communities of color. They followed up with various degrees of success.
CNBC’s Peter Scher was vice-chair at JPMorgan Chase, and also chair of the Greater Washington Partnership Board. He said that Floyd’s assassination and dislocation from the coronavirus outbreak prompted members of corporate and university groups to look into ways they could better assist minority communities.
Scher stated that Covid’s impact on the underserved and George Floyd being a reckoning point for many companies and communities regarding the need to be more involved in addressing inequities, as well as the fact that Covid was a strong accelerator of our business partnership on Monday.
Rosie Allen Herring is president and CEO of United Way of National Capital Area.
Allen-Herring said that conversations with the inclusive growth council were not just about making lip service. They focused on how we can make a real commitment to move the needle on the difficult challenges for us as a country and as a region.
Floyd, a Black man was shot to death by a former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was almost two years old. Chauvin sentencedTo 22.5 Years in Prison after Being Found guiltyof manslaughter and murder last year.
Floyd’s death at the hands of police led to months of discussions about racial inequities in the U.S. economy, justice system and schools — among other areas — and what policymakers and businesses can do to reduce them.
Greater Washington Partnership reported that more than a dozen members have contributed to the new initiative. These include Amazon, JPMorgan Chase Capital One, Howard University, Georgetown University, and JPMorgan Chase. Each company participating has senior executives on the Greater Washington Partnership Board.
These funds, which will last for five years in total, will partly go towards procurement expenditures that can help minority-owned business owners.
Another part of this massive investment will focus on wealth-building opportunities such as direct corporate investments into affordable housing. A portion of funds will be targeted at local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). These institutions will provide capital access for those who are underrepresented.
Andy Navarrete was Capital One’s executive Vice President and Head of External Affairs. He gave more details about his role in the huge investment.
Navarrete stated that, “Alongside our Greater Washington Partnership peer’s, we are leveraging collective scale and resources for access to capital for groups historically underfunded; to increase investment in Black-owned businesses and Hispanic owned businesses; and to break down structural barriers which persist for Black or Brown communities,” in a Monday statement to CNBC.
Georgetown’s spokesperson referred CNBC to Georgetown on Monday. previously announced effortEngage with different companies CNBC received the following information from Amazon: Amazon Housing Equity Fundand $124 million pledge to create more than 1000 affordable homes.
Howard University spokesperson did not reply to inquiries for comment. A representative for Raimondo did not return an email seeking comment.