WASHINGTON — Local government contracts can make or break DC business consultant Yashieka Anglin’s entire future.
“Those services include budget execution, formulation, American Sign Language as well as program and project management,” explained Anglin.
Her company is what’s considered a CBE, or “Certified Business Enterprise.” That means she’s proven to DC government she runs a locally-owned business and hires DC residents. She runs the business out of her Northeast Washington home with one additional employee, but also hired 60-80 subcontractors. However, Anglin is frustrated.
“We already know, speaking to other CBE’s, there are business in DC who are Certified Business Enterprises but they’re really not. They’re getting the bulk of the contracts. We feel like no one has really listened to us,” said Anglin.
DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie says Anglin is not the only one getting shut out. He wants to help small businesses like Anglin’s compete for the $800 million set aside for CBE contracts in DC.
“They’ve been based here, they’ve been working really hard, they apply for contract after contract and are losing out to companies that are not based in the District of Columbia,” explained McDuffie.
McDuffie will introduce a bill Tuesday he says will level the playing field.
“The bill establishes an independent office of compliance to really make sure we are certifying businesses that are based right here in the District of Columbia,” said McDuffie.
Anglin hopes a revamped CBE program will lead to businesses like hers expanding, “They’re trying to keep District dollars in DC. In that way, you can actually hire DC residents. They’ll actually pay taxes and put it back in the community. The way they have it right now, a lot of money is leaving out of the community.”