By Robert Stitt
After all, they just sent out $31.5 million to various MBDA business centers throughout the country in support of minority business.
Alejandra Castillo is the national director of the MBDA. She said, “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. This funding goes far beyond just the monetary aspect. This is a long-term investment in our community and in our nation.”
According to Black Enterprise, some of the 21 business centers who received grants from the MBDA as part of this $31.5 million disbursement included those in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, South Bronx, Philadelphia, Raleigh, and Charlotte, among others. The average size of the individual grants ranged from around $290,000 to $320,000.
The Minority Business Development Agency falls under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is the only federal agency with a mission to help minority-owned businesses and firms in the United States. The MBDA hopes to increase the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses by assisting them with capital, assets, and contracts.
The individual program recipients will receive their funds over a period of five years. The first awards were presented this last April 2016.
According to the Census Bureau, the number of minority-owned firms increased from 2007 to 2012 from 5.8 million to over 8 million. In 2012, minority-owned businesses employed over 7.2 million Americans.