Reflecting a sharp increase in the amount of grants, loans and guarantees, federal government funding for minority enterprises through the third quarter already has surpassed the total for 1984, the Commerce Department reported.
Funding for minority businesses, including loans and guarantees, reached $10.2 billion at the end of the third quarter compared with $9.5 billion for 1984. The amount for this year places the total for the last three years at $27.1 billion, which is $3.1 billion over the Reagan administration's goal for that period, the Commerce Department said.
James H. Richardson, director of minority business for the Commerce Department, attributed the rise in overall funding to a huge increase in minority business financing by the Department of Transportation. DOT approved loans and loan guarantees totaling $4.1 billion through the third quarter compared with $12.8 million for last year. Other agencies reporting large increases included the Departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Despite these gains, however, federal contract awards to minority businesses totaled only $3.9 billion in the first three quarters, or 63.5 percent of its goal for the year, according to the Commerce report. Furthermore, awards to minority firms were only 2.9 percent of the federal government's total contract procurement.
But the disproportionately high number of contracts that usually are awarded during the final quarter is expected to push the total to minority-owned businesses well over the administration's goal of $6.1 million for the year, according to a Commerce spokesman.
The D. C. Department of Employment Services has established a hotline for employers to call for assistance in hiring extra help for the holiday season. The department estimates that as many as 13,000 full- and part-time seasonal jobs may be added to the Washington labor market during the Christmas season, including 1,300 jobs in the District's retail industry. Last year, the department reported, about 17,500 jobs were added during the three-month holiday period. The increase usually occurs between October and December.
To list openings with the agency, companies may call the Holidays Helpers Hotline, 724-3785, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Once the order is placed, the department will recruit, screen and refer qualified applicants based on the employer's specifications.
The department also will advertise the jobs on selected radio stations at the employer's request. All services are free to employers.
ICF Inc., a Washington-based consulting firm, will start offering "a full range of services" in managing hazardous wastes with the recent acquisition of Pittsburgh-based SRW Associates Inc., which specializes in investigating and designing hazardous waste sites.
An ICF spokesman said the purchase of SRW will complement its earlier acquisition of Clement Associates Inc., which specializes in assessing chemical risks.