On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce made an announcement that will change the fortunes of a number of minority business owners: Through a grant competition, minority business will get to run one of six Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) centers in major metropolitan hubs nationwide in order to grow their jobs and businesses.
Thirty of these centers are already in existence across the United States and Puerto Rico. With this new competition, though, grant winners will be able to operate MBDA Business Centers in New York, Houston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Washington, which, according to David A. Hinson, MBDA national director, “is critical to furthering the Agency’s mission in assisting minority-owned businesses in gaining access to contracts, access to capital, and access to markets.” Hinson adds, “It is our goal to ensure the continued success of minority-owned firms who, in turn, strengthen the economy and create American jobs.”
The grant amounts will range between $300,000 to $500,000 annually over the course of a three-year cycle, and awardees will be connected to the other already established 30 MBDA Business Centers nationwide.
Fiscal Year 2012 was noteworthy for MBDA as it helped to create and maintain more than 16,000 jobs, making it the most-successful run in the agency’s 44-year existence. In addition to the jobs, the MBDA also helped clients gain $3.6 billion in capital awards and contracts.