QUERY : Which of these would Minnesota First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn object to :
a) The Small Business Administration addressing veteran-owned business b) The Small Business Administration addressing women-owned business c) The Small Business Administration addressing Black-owned business
As you ponder that question, consider that there are over 9 million women-owned small businesses in the U.S and reportedly 2.9 million veteran-owned small businesses … with Black-owned small businesses trailing both groups.
Also, consider that according to a Federal Reserve study on the Covid impact on business, from February to April 2020, Black-owned businesses experienced declines of 41%, Latino-owned businesses fell by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 26%. In contrast, the number of white business owners whose businesses were active fell by just 17%. Add to that data, another report from the Small Business Association on Paycheck Protection Program recipients indicated that Black-owned businesses received 1.9% of loans while White-owned businesses received 83%
A recent LTE from Dana Melius of Saint Peter provides the answer to the question … Jim Hagedorn is upset that the SBA would address that disparity in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund by providing funds to Black-owned restaurants calling that “reverse discrimination and un-American.”
Gosh, I wonder when Congressman Hagedorn will start complaining about the SBA addressing women-owned and veteran-owned businesses … oh, wait a second … it was only two years ago that Congressman Hagedorn voted YES on H.R. 190 Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act which was designed to increase the size of sole source government contracts for Women Owned Small Businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.
If Congressman Hagedorn believes that it is “reverse discrimination and un-American” to consider race, why isn’t he saying that ensuring that women-owned receive 5 percent of government contracts hurts men-owned small businesses … and thus “reverse discrimination and un-American” ?
Dana Melius letter as published in the Mankato Free Press :
Hagedorn’s actions un-American
In a July 20 MinnPost story on the recent Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Rep. Jim Hagedorn criticized the Small Business Administration for prioritizing “certain racial, economic or social qualities” as “reverse discrimination and un-American.”
It shows again how out of touch Hagedorn is with his district. A review of southern Minnesota shows that over $35 million in RRF funds went to 173 businesses in the 1st District, which Hagedorn represents. A closer look reveals that many Mexican markets and Chinese restaurants received funds, along with many veteran and women-owned establishments, among the target groups. For that matter, most bars and restaurants in southern Minnesota struggled through the pandemic, needed a boost, and got it.
In two key 1st District communities — Greater Mankato and Rochester — some $23 million was dedicated. Hagedorn will surely take credit for this along the way even though he criticizes the SBA’s efforts. That’s how Hagedorn operates.
But there’s more. Ten in New Ulm — one of the least diverse communities in Minnesota — received money. Twelve in Faribault got almost $2 million combined; and another 10 in Winona topped $1 million combined.
Dig deeper: One in Stewartville alone received over $609,000; in Jackson, one got over $222,000; and in Elysian, one got almost $209,000.
Un-American? From the man who turned his eyes from the Jan. 6 insurrection?
Sure, Jim. Sure.
Letters to the Editor are one way that Minnesota First District constituents are sending a message to Congressman Hagedorn … the other way is billboards … like the one that Jim cannot miss as he travels to his Blue Earth home.
Yep, people are pleading with Representative Hagedorn to represent all the people … and to “stop dividing” and to “stop attacking our democracy”.