Federal Lawsuit Prompts Lawmakers to Eye SBA Policy -- Washington Times© Investigates SBA Discrimination Lawsuit

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Washington Times reporter Brian Debose reports on inquiries made by Senators Kerry and Hatch on SBA's record of lack of access to capital for minorities and women. Diamond Ventures, managed primarily by blacks and minorities, alleges discrimination. The allegations arise from SBA comments in litigation, Inspector General reports concluding bias among other items.

aid to minority- and woman-owned businesses has decreased in all but one year during the past six years.

An Inspector General report finding bias. Key documents turned over in a court where (District Court of DC, Case # 03-1449) Small Business Administration ("SBA") officials made numerous biased comments and applied policies to a majority black applicant to their venture capital program such as investing in inner-cities and in minorities and women --owned firms is a "loser strategy". Testimony before a Senate hearing on access to capital (or lack thereof) to minority and women owned businesses. And there is more.

The Washington Times reported Friday that two Senators are focusing on SBA polices on access to capital with a focus on minorities and women. The Washington Times noted Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) sent a letter to SBA stating " aid to minority- and woman-owned businesses has decreased in all but one year during the past six years." Senator Orrin Hatch-(R-Utah) separately noted "It seems that Diamond Ventures and other minority-owned companies would like to see their concerns addressed directly by your agency. "

In elaborating on the comments in the article, C. Earl Peek, Diamond Ventures Managing Partner said, "all we ever asked SBA to do was to evaluate us like other teams with similar backgrounds and experiences that they have approved. This has escalated to SBA having to defend policies that have a discriminatory impact and comments that infer racism."

"Instead, SBA has conducted a witch hunt targeting me and members of the firm like henchmen from some draconian age despite our credible answers to their inquiries. It looks like they just don't like black people running their venture funds or minorities investing in minority --owned and under served companies.", Peek said further.

"Diamond Ventures long-term goal is to finance firms located in the inner-city, undeserved, and rural areas where there are high minority populations to parallel the success of firms such as FedEx, Intel, and others that have all were financed by the SBA Small Business Investment Company ("SBIC") program," Peek said.

See the full Washington Times article at:
Article__Washington Times

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