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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Certified Business Enterprises
Despite a booming commercial real estate industry that is the envy of almost every U.S. city, the District of Columbia is unable to account for more than $1 billion of public/private funding in fiscal 2012 intended for local, small- and minority-owned businesses, according to a city report.
A three-bedroom Colonial on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast that houses a dozen businesses and received $3.5 million from the District government since 2010 also serves as a home base for a longtime Ward 8 politico with a history of debt and dubious financial dealings with the city, records show.
You wouldn't know it from the curb, but a three-bedroom Colonial on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast houses 12 businesses, all set up to receive contracts from Washington, D.C., under minority-contracting rules.
Efforts by Washington, D.C., to include local, minority-owned and small businesses in city contracts have led to a system in which goods manufactured by major companies, including sensitive medical equipment, are routed regularly through residences where self-professed entrepreneurs — whose only client is the government — mark up and resell them.