Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
2019 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Outreach Event Remarks
Washington, D.C., HUD HQ, June 19, 2019


As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

Thank you and welcome to HUD's second annual Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Outreach Event. I'd like to thank the staff from HUD's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for all their hard work. Jean [Pao, Director], you and your staff have done an excellent job putting together this informative event.

I also want to thank Ron Flom [Chief Procurement Officer] and his team for their support of small business programs. vAnd to all the veterans in attendance today, thank you for your service and for the sacrifices you have made for our country. Your fight is the reason we have freedoms - and HUD works especially hard to provide affordable housing solutions and economic opportunity for our nation's heroes.

For example, nationwide, the total number of reported homeless veterans decreased by more than five percent last year, and has decreased by roughly half since 2010 - prompting 71 communities across 33 different states to declare an effective end to veteran homelessness in their areas. And each year, HUD is proud to serve more than one million people through emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing programs.

But today, we are proud to focus on HUD's small business achievements. In fiscal year 2018, we exceeded our small business goal by more than five percent with over 40 percent of HUD contract dollars going to small businesses.

Further, in fiscal year 2018, HUD awarded over $398 million dollars in contracts to more than 393 small businesses, of which 269 were new, first time awardees. Fiscal year 2018 marks the seventh consecutive year where HUD exceeded its annual small business prime goal.

The federal government's goal is to award at least three percent of federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses each year. At HUD, we have gone above and beyond - achieving a total of 7.9 percent, which totaled over $77.4 million dollars.

To the vendors with us here today: you represent the spirit of American enterprise, and we need your help so that HUD can meet its small business goal commitments again this year. Accomplishing our joint goals is a team effort, and we are fortunate to have such tremendous teammates to help us with our important missions.

Today, we are reaching out to help those small businesses who are on the front lines of America's fight for prosperity. Small businesses and HUD have a history of helping each other serve the American people - and small businesses remain essential to meeting HUD's mission in the months and years ahead. To those veterans who are so integral to turning the wheel of American commerce, we are grateful for your service, and for your contributions. May God bless you, your families, and all those who uphold the strength and freedom of these United States - the great nation we call home.

Thank you for your participation, and enjoy today's event.

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