On his first day in office, President Biden signed a historic Executive Order directing the whole government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda that matches the scale of the challenges we face and the opportunities before us.

The order charged heads of agencies to identify effective methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions (e.g., programs, services, processes, and operations) equitably serve all eligible individuals and communities, particularly those that are currently and historically underserved.

On April 14, 2022 more than 90 federal agencies—including all Cabinet-level agencies—released first-ever Equity Action Plans called for in that Executive Order. These Action Plans lay out more than 300 concrete strategies and commitments to address the systemic barriers in our nation’s policies and programs that hold too many underserved communities back from prosperity, dignity, and equality.

USTDA has long prioritized the advancement of equity and the removing of barriers through the creation of opportunities for small businesses and members of underserved communities.  In particular, USTDA has prioritized the utilization of the SBA 8(a) to harness the innovation and ingenuity of small-disadvantaged business to achieve the Agency’s mission. 

USTDA plans to do more in this area by:

Continuing to advance minority participation in USTDA’s small business procurement program. The Office of Acquisition Management will continue its advocacy for small-disadvantaged businesses with the goal of providing maximum practicable opportunities for small-disadvantaged business, including minority-owned and women-owned small businesses.

Continuing to prioritize outreach to Tribal Nations in accordance with President Biden’s January 26, 2021, Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships and Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments).

Continuing to prioritize domestic engagement of U.S. business stakeholders, with focused outreach to small-disadvantaged businesses.  The goal of this outreach is to help create a more enabling environment for historically underrepresented businesses to participate in USTDA’s grant-funded activities and in the process, access export markets consistent with the Agency’s mission.

Despite limited dedicated resources to implementing EO 13985, USTDA conducted a successful outreach program with 42 percent of our total procurement dollars going to small-disadvantaged businesses owned by socially disadvantaged groups, far exceeding SBA’s 5 percent target. 

Below is a breakout of procurement dollars going to minority-owned and woman-owned small business during FY2021:

Minority-Owned Small Business = $9,693,144.54 (42% of Total Procurement Value)
Asian-Pacific American Owned = $2,707,709.40
Black American Owned = $3,303,735.66
Hispanic American Owned = $971,783.53
Subcontinental Asian (Asian-Indian) = $2,610,163.03
Other Minority Owned = $99,752.89
Woman-Owned Small Business = $5,671,240.71 (24% of Total Procurement Value)

Additionally, in April 2021 USTDA participated in a nine-agency consultation process with Tribal leaders, to listen and learn how the Agency could best engage, communicate and understand best practices for its future engagement with Tribal Nations. Following on this consultation process, USTDA participated in Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2021, hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, via a panel with the Small Business Administration and U.S. Export-Import Bank entitled “Grow Global: A Guide to Government Resources to Expand Your Business through International Sales.”

USTDA has also consulted with the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) to share information about USTDA’s grant, procurement and employment opportunities and anticipates participating in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Annual Conference to be held in October 2022. The intent of these engagements is to advertise USTDA’s business and job opportunities to Tribal Nations and Native American-owned companies that work in the infrastructure space or that may bid for contract opportunities to provide support services to USTDA. As part of this outreach, USTDA also has expanded its outreach for its employment and internship opportunities to advance EO 13985.

In October 2021, USTDA onboarded a Director of Public Engagement, who will execute the Agency’s domestic engagement, including its outreach to small-disadvantaged businesses, with the objective of helping to create a more enabling environment for historically underrepresented businesses to participate in USTDA’s grant-funded activities and in the process, access export markets consistent with the Agency’s mission.

Learn more about the agency’s equity efforts by subscribing to USTDA news and events.

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Read USTDA’s Tribal Consultation Plan of Action.

Learn more about the Administration’s Equity Agenda.

Learn more about government-wide equity efforts.