U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Awards $31.5 Million in Grants


article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

New resources and funding is underway to help minority-owned firms create jobs, compete in the global economy, and grow their businesses.  This comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, awarding $31.5 million in federal funding to 21 grant recipients as part of its MBDA Business Center Program.

“For more than 40 years, MBDA has led efforts to support minority firms and provide them with the tools and technical expertise they need to excel. This is the very foundation on which this agency was founded back in 1969. It’s the core of who we are and what we represent,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This funding goes far beyond just the monetary aspect. This is a long-term investment in our community and in our nation.”

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the U.S. increased from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.

The grant recipients will join an established network of MBDA Business Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico. The recipients will receive the federal funds during a five-year period. They include:

  • Georgia Tech Research Corporation ($298,255) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Atlanta.
  • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. ($312,750) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Chicago.
  • Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council ($301,675) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Dallas.
  • Michigan Minority Purchasing Council ($310,225) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Detroit.
  • Mid-South Minority Council TADP, Inc. ($285,400) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Memphis, Tenn.
  • Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council ($301,975) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Miami.
  • South Bronx Overall Economic Development Association ($321, 800) to operate the MBDA Business Center in New York or northern New Jersey.
  • The Enterprise Center ($304,475) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Philadelphia.
  • North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development ($294,100) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Raleigh, Charlotte, or Durham, N.C.
  • Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. ($310,550) to operate the MBDA Business Center in Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia.

MBDA is expected to make additional announcements regarding grant winners and future grant opportunities.

One thought on “U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Awards $31.5 Million in Grants”

  1. This is the agency I worked at in Charleston for over 10 years (Charleston MBDC) The funding amount is extremely misleading and has been almost stagnant for the past 25 plus years. In fact, funding has gone down since the 1980’s. At that time, funding was approximately $40mm .How are you going to realistically infuse minority business development to the most economically disenfranchised communities with only $31.5 mm. Now, bear in mind, that $31.5 million is spread across about 50 organizations in the US. By the time it gets to a local community, it’s about $100k or so that creates a few jobs for a small staff and pays for their expenses/overhead. Clients must pay fees for services and capital or contracts are subject to standard bidding practices & underwriting from banks. So, you know what the real results are?. Banks are NOT venture capitalist Just look around Black & Latino communities. In fact, MBDA funding must be signed into law under executive order every year by the POTUS. Now, that order has probably sat on Obama’s desk or to do list since last October. I can recall when I worked there, it sat for months while we kept the Charleston Office opened with no pay for over three months.That announcement or press release is SOP at the agency. Same wording as it was 25 years ago. Only the names and amounts have changed. Although now, White women, Hasidic Jews and a few others have now been awarded the MBE status or jumped on the so called “minority”bandwagon.. What’s really a paradox, is that I ended up working on a project funded by the Securities and exchange Commission (SEC) recently. That contract was valued around $900 million dollars. Now, who do you think it was awarded to? That’ right, a MWBE firm with 51% ownership by a White woman. Now, ain’t that Sumptin!

    When I worked at there, we joked that MBDA was the in the basement under the basement at the U.S. Dept of Commerce in Washington.. If they were really serious about minority economic development, each Metropolitan Statistical Area ( MSA )with large minority populations would need a grant of $31.5 mm or more to even begin addressing the issue of jobs, wealth and capital creation.. Black folk should be outraged at this minuscule dollar amount and under a Black President.for the entire country We spend 100 times that and more in foreign lands and at home at campaigns we are serious about.. Think about what we allocate to farmers,energy,bank bailouts to name a few.

    Everyone else but us. I”m just saying.

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