U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo recently announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is extending an award for $4.72 million in federal funding to strengthen and expand its national network of business centers.
With this additional funding, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered $37 million to support the Business Center Program, which will provide technical assistance and support in access to capital, contracting opportunities, and markets, delivering on the Biden Administration’s mission to expand access to capital and procurement opportunities for America’s minority business enterprises (MBEs).
“The Biden Administration is committed to building a stronger, more equitable economy, which includes doing everything we can to help minority-owned businesses succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The reinforcement and expansion of MBDA’s national network of business centers is critical to providing the nation’s minority-owned businesses with equitable access to capital and procurement opportunities that will help strengthen their role as a driving force of our nation’s economy.”
MBDA is extending grants totaling $2.62 million to 26 existing business center operators to bolster their procurement services, which will help expand MBEs access to federal contracts. This funding will support the Biden Administration’s goal to increase the share of contracts going to small and disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent by 2025.
MBDA is also extending awards totaling $2.1 million to open six new business centers in states whose MBEs will benefit from greater accessibility to MBDA resources. Expanding MBDA’s footprint is critical to the Agency’s mandate under the Minority Business Development Act of 2021, which seeks to expand MBDA’s influence and reach to support the nation’s 9.7 million minority-owned businesses.
To give minority-owned businesses the tools they need to succeed, we must meet people where they are,” said Donald Cravins, Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development. “The greatest obstacle facing minority-owned businesses is access—access to capital, access to contracts, and access to markets. Strengthening MBDA’s existing business centers and expanding our footprint is critical to breaking down those barriers. The expansion of our national network in Arkansas, Indiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin will give minority-owned businesses in those states a center to call their own. We are expanding our capacity to open doors for every minority-owned business and help America reach its full economic potential.”
The MBDA Business Center Program supports a national network of business centers that provide high-quality technical assistance to the nation’s 9.7 million minority business enterprises. Services include counseling and mentoring, assistance to access capital, contracts, and grants, facilitating the growth of MBEs by promoting trade, and supporting MBEs to create and retain jobs.
The following organizations were extended awards to operate new MBDA business centers:
- Arkansas: Communities Unlimited, Inc
- Indiana: Indiana Economic Development Corporation
- Oregon: Seattle Economic Development Fund
- South Carolina: DESA, Inc.
- Utah: Salt Lake Community College
- Wisconsin: North Central Minority Supplier Development Council
For the latest information on MBDA programs and announcements, please visit www.MBDA.gov.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency MBDA national network of business centers Business Center Program minority business enterprises Biden Administration Minority Business Development Act of 2021 Donald Cravins Arkansas Oregon South Carolina Utah Wisconsin MBDA Business Center Program DESA Inc. Salt Lake Community College North Central Minority Supplier Development Council Indiana Economic Development Corporation Communities Unlimited Inc