contact (415) 240-3537 John William Templeton
Only 8 Percent of Katrina Federal Contracts
Go to Small Disadvantaged Businesses
SAN FRANCISCO — blackmoney.com and blackbusinessmonth.com report that 8.3 percent of federal contracts dedicated to Hurricane Katrina recovery were awarded to small disadvantaged businesses.
On the third anniversary of the natural disaster, the analysis of Federal Procurement Data System reports measures whether the Bush administration responded to the calls from local communities and Congress, especially Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, to use the funds to revive the economies of the states stricken by the hurricane, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
“Before the hurricane, there were 100,000 black self-employed in those three states,” said blackmoney.com executive editor John William Templeton, founder of National Black Business Month each August. “Our annual State of Black Business reports for the last three years have indicated very low utilization of black firms in the affected areas.”
FPDS data confirms those anecdotal accounts. Of $18.4 billion, $1.5 billion was spent with small disadvantaged businesses. The category includes all minority groups and potentially some whites.
Another designation, HUBZone businesses, may indicate how minimal the procurement has been in the poorest areas of the “black belt.” Only 4.4 percent of the Katrina contracts went to HUBZone firms, according to FPDS.