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Photo: Axios

Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said at an Axios event Tuesday that the Biden administration has been key to helping Black-owned small businesses through the pandemic.

Why it matters: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic inequities minority workers and business owners already faced, widening racial disparities, Axios' Hope King writes.

What she's saying: "95% of the Biden approved PPP loans went to small businesses with 20 or less employees. And that was very helpful," Beatty said.

  • "We know that Biden's committed to a 50% increase in contracting with small, disadvantaged, targeted businesses. So that's going to be helpful."
  • "When you look at the data that's out there, it will tell me the disparities. It will tell you how much work we have to do," Beatty said.
  • "While we're making great strides with the billions of dollars that we have set aside through the work that the Biden-Harris administration has done with the work that we've done in Congress, I can tell you my caucus has been in the forefront fighting for the people and fighting for businesses, especially small businesses, to stay open."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Black congressional staffers call for more diversity at Capitol Hill

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Two Black congressional staff associations published an open letter Friday calling for more diversity, better conditions and "a stronger college-to-Congress pipeline" for staffers at Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: While Congress swore in its most racially and ethnically diverse congressional class in history this year, congressional staffs remain "overwhelmingly white," the letter says.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID-19 complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.