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Senate Proposal Would Strengthen Minority Business Development Agency

  • A group of Democratic senators is looking to make the Minority Business Development Agency permanent and expand its scope
  • Legislation would take steps such as expanding the MBDA’s grant making capacity and establishing more regional offices
  • Senators say minority-owned businesses are in greater need of assistance due to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Sixteen Democrats in the U.S. Senate, including Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, are backing legislation that would strengthen the Minority Business Development Agency. The Minority Business Resiliency Act of 2021 would make the MBDA permanent in statute while also expanding its scope.

The proposal come shortly after President Joe Biden proposed a 40 percent budget increase for the MBDA as part of his 2022 fiscal year budget. Supporters of the bill say it helps address longstanding challenges faced by minority-owned businesses as well as the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on these businesses.

Some key points of the bill include:

  • Increased grant making capacity
  • The establishment of more MBDA regional offices and rural business centers
  • A program to partner with historically Black colleges and universities, as well as minority serving institutions, to “build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent”
  • The creation of a Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development

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