Virginia NAACP Outraged By Attempts to Dilute SWAM Business Definitions In SB1369

RICHMOND (February 17, 2021) – Virginia State Conference NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s passage of Senate Bill 1369 in the House Committee on General Laws Subcommittee on Open Government/Procurement:

“The Virginia NAACP is outraged that the House Committee on General Laws Subcommittee on Open Government/Procurement moved forward SB1369 yesterday. This legislation dilutes the legal definitions of SWaM (Small, Women, and Minority-owned businesses), leading to “cooperative associations” to circumvent the SWaM certification process.

SB1369 directly contradicts the goals of increasing women and minority owned businesses in the procurement process. Virginia’s already-dismal record of government contracts with SWaM businesses will be falsely inflated and mom and pop businesses will have to compete with big businesses for local procurement contracts.

We demand that the House General Laws Committee vote NO on this legislation. Virginians need real reform to support SWaM businesses.”

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Founded in 1935, the Virginia State Conference of NAACP Branches (Virginia NAACP) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the Commonwealth, overseeing over 100 NAACP branches, youth councils, and college chapters. The Virginia NAACP is focused on being the preeminent voice of Black Virginians and advocating for policies and programs to benefit Blacks and people of color. You can read more about the Virginia NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting

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