DC-area companies commit billions to small minority businesses

A new multi-billion dollar investment is slated to boost minority businesses from Baltimore to Richmond.

The $4.7 billion commitment from companies that are part of the Greater Washington Partnership will go toward underrepresented communities over a five-year period. The partnership has received commitments from several organizations, including Howard University, Dominion Energy and Inova Health Systems.

The money will help create access to capital and racial equity. About $2.6 billion will also go toward supplier diversity efforts and the creation of about 4,000 jobs per year.

“We recognize that these are longstanding, structural challenges,” said Francesca Ioffreda, the partnership’s vice president for inclusive growth and talent initiatives. “Closing the racial wealth gap in our region alone could unlock up to $50 billion in GDP by 2028.”

The partnership is also creating an Inclusive Growth Blueprint, which will provide a 10-year roadmap to advance prosperity while closing gaps.

Ioffreda said the goal is to continue to make investments in small businesses while tracking progress and future needs: “Regions that are more inclusive and more equitable will be faster growing, will be more resilient.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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