Commerce ramps up grant-making with $13M in awards for minority businesses

As reported by WashingtonExaminer

The Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency awarded over $13 million on Thursday to 35 projects in communities across the nation, according to an administration official, a vast increase in the agency’s grant-making. The agency provided just $1.4 million in grants in 2016, the last year it made any under the program.

Thursday’s awards, which account for more than a third of the agency’s entire budget, go to entities ranging from the Howard University to the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and cover projects as diverse as aquaculture, disaster relief, and fostering entrepreneurship.

“Minority business enterprises each have a unique and critical role to play in the national economy as well as in countless local communities nationwide,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs II. “Through these grant awards, we are directly impacting those who MBDA was created to serve.”

The Minority Business Development Agency is a federal agency that links minority-owned businesses with the private sector investment they need to expand. Businesses, nonprofits, state and local governments, Indian Tribal governments, as well as educational institutions were all eligible to receive awards. “These grant awards will help ensure that all Americans across the spectrum continue to reap the benefits of our thriving economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.