Vice President Kamala Harris has announced a new effort that aims to financially empower Black Americans.
In partnership with the U.S. Treasury Department, the Biden-Harris administration announced significant moves during the Freedman’s Bank Forum 2023 that will provide support to underfunded suppliers, small businesses, and Black and brown communities.
“To bridge the financial disparities that hold so many of our communities back, we must continue to work together to combine the capacity of the private sector with the reach and the scale that only the government can provide,” Harris said during the Freedman’s Bank Forum 2023, according to Forbes.
She continued, “When we do, we create opportunity and prosperity for millions of Americans.”
“The U.S. Department of Treasury estimates that these investments in community lenders will result in a $50 billion increase in lending to Latino communities and a nearly $80 billion increase in lending to Black communities over the next decade,” a statement from the White House read.
These efforts are a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, focused on reviving the country’s economy.
During the forum held on Tuesday, Oct. 25., Harris urged more companies to invest in their ongoing efforts.
She emphasized sectors including semiconductor manufacturing, clean energy manufacturing, transportation, heavy industry, and biomanufacturing to fulfill more contracts with underserved businesses by 2025. She also pushed for companies to ensure technical assistance can be provided within these sectors.
As of this writing, Micron, Xcel Energy, and Air Product have stepped up, according to the press release.
“We are proud to be the first energy company to join the Economic Opportunity Coalition, with our shared commitment to represent the communities we serve with our supplier diversity program,” explained Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, per The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are supporting small and diverse-owned businesses by targeting our spending on materials and services with diverse suppliers to 25% by 2025 as we deliver reliable, affordable service to our customers while leading the nation’s clean energy transition.”