Washington, DC – In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Congressman Jerry McNerney has introduced bipartisan legislation to preserve this critical agency. H.R. 1432 would permanently authorize MBDA, which was created for “the establishment, preservation, and strengthening of minority business enterprise.”
On March 5, 1969, MBDA was established within the Department of Commerce through Executive Order 11458. The agency’s annual appropriations have fluctuated between $25 million and $31.5 million since 1996. However, because of its creation through executive order, the agency’s continued existence is dependent upon each new president. MBDA has been a target throughout President Donald Trump’s tenure, with calls for significant funding reductions – specifically to the Business Center program – and a push for the agency’s complete elimination.
“Minority business owners face unique challenges,” said Congressman McNerney. “They are more likely to be denied loans, and when they are approved, it’s likely at a higher interest rate. For the past 50 years, the MBDA has helped Americans around the country by providing minority-owned businesses with the tools and services needed for success.”
H.R. 1432 would permanently authorize and transfer all existing authorities to the newly created Minority Business Development Administration. It would also allocate up to 25 percent of appropriated funds specifically for MBDA’s Business Center program. Additionally, the bill would authorize and empower the administration to work with the Securities and Exchange Commission to find new opportunities for minority-owned businesses to gain access to capital.
Currently, MBDA offers the majority of its services through a network of 35 business centers located across the country in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the highest number of minority businesses. Over the past ten years, MBDA’s programs and services have secured more than $40 billion in contracts and capital.
Congressman McNerney, as well as Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman Bobby Rush (IL-01), Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Congressman Don Young (AK-At-Large District), have introduced H.R. 1432 to protect MBDA for future generations of minority-owned businesses.
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