By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Over the past five fiscal years from 2013 to 2017, federal government agencies have spent approximately $5 billion in advertising, but a minute share—$327 million—went to minority-owned businesses, according to a long-awaited report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The federal government serves as the largest advertiser in the country.
While non-minority-owned businesses continue to rake in billions of dollars in federal advertising money, Hispanic-owned businesses received just $192 million over five years—or about $38.4 million per year.
NNPA President Benjamin Chavis speaks outside of the U.S. Capitol during a joint press conference between NNPA and NAHP. The press conference was attended by Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (far left). (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA via Facebook)
Black-owned businesses netted just $51 million—or roughly $10 million per year over the five years covered in the new report, which was prepared over a nine-month period beginning last October. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested the report.
Native American-owned businesses were the recipients of $50 million in advertising spending over the past five fiscal years while Asian American-owned enterprises received $31 million, according to the report.
Ethnicities classified as “other” received $3 million.
“Today, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) received the long-awaited report from the United States GAO, a report that was triggered by the NNPA and NAHP working with the Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “This factual report exposes gross, racial discrimination and the refusal of the federal agencies cited in the report to be serious about diversity and inclusion with respect to annual federal spending on advertising.”
Dr. Chavis continued: “For the government to admit today, on the record, that in the last five fiscal years, nearly $5 billion was spent on advertising and yet only a total of $327 million was actually spent on minority-owned businesses…this report is not surprising nor is it shocking, but it does reveal the consequences of systemic racial discrimination in both Republican and Democratic administrations when it comes to federal advertising spending.”