WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 22, 2020) – Today, the Black Economic Alliance (BEA), a nonpartisan group of Black executives and business leaders, lauded the passage of new federal legislation that will provide $12 billion to minority-owned and community-based financial institutions, help stabilize Black businesses that suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, and establish programs that will help revitalize low-income communities. The legislation, which was originally championed by BEA in July 2020, was included as part of a $900 billion amendment to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act after bipartisan negotiations.
BEA helped shaped the initial iteration of this bill, which laid the foundation for this legislation that passed as part of the CARES Act. In an important demonstration of bipartisan collaboration on this important issue, the originally proposed bill was introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ) then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as Reps. Maxine Waters (CA-43) and Greogry Meeks (NY-05), and ultimately co-sponsored by eight Democrats and nine Republicans, including then-Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) and then-Senate Commerce Committee Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS), among others.
“I’m proud that BEA played a leading role advancing this critical bipartisan legislation that will provide sustainable economic relief and future resources for Black businesses and communities,” said David Clunie, Executive Director of BEA. “The pandemic laid bare many systemic inequities in American institutions, and this legislation is an important step to building stronger economic infrastructure that creates new and better pathways for communities of color to build, retain, and grow generational wealth. I appreciate everyone who helped shepherd this bill through Congress for continuing to break down economic barriers for the Black community, thereby strengthening the entire U.S. economy.”
“The original bill’s full list of co-sponsors includes Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Doug Jones (D-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), John Kennedy (R-LA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tina Smith (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). In addition to BEA, this legislation was also supported by several civic and advocacy groups, including the NAACP and the National Urban League.”
About the Black Economic Alliance
The Black Economic Alliance is a coalition of Black business leaders and allies committed to driving economic progress for the Black community through public policy, advocacy, and engagement with government and business leaders. Led by a board that includes executives from a range of industries including media, finance, pharmaceutical, nonprofit, and tech, BEA uses its collective power and business acumen to advance policies that will improve work, wages, and wealth for Black Americans. | https://blackeconomicalliance.org/