A federal judge rules MBDA violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency’s presumption that businesses owned by Blacks, Latinos and other minorities are disadvantaged violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Unless it appeals, the Department of Commerce, which oversees MBDA, will be forced to immediately cease using an applicant’s race or ethnicity in determining eligibility for the program. An appeal seems likely, but, according to an article in the Washington Post, it would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which has a conservative majority.

Treasury awards $125M to 43 organizations, distributes $57M in first SSBCI TA grants

U.S. Department of the Treasury recently awarded $125 million to 43 nonprofits and community-based organizations, including SSTI member University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The money came via the American Rescue Plan Act- (ARPA-) funded (CRP) Capital Readiness Program. The CRP enables small businesses to access technical assistance through organizations that provide services to underserved businesses.

Commerce launches $100 million Capital Readiness Program for underserved entrepreneurs

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently launched the Capital Readiness Program grant competition, which will provide $93.5 million to help minority and other underserved entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses and be administered by the Minority Business Development Agency.

MBDA awards $3.7M in grants for specialty centers with emphasis on manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) awarded $3.7 million total in federal funding across nine grant recipients to establish MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Centers, Export Centers, and a Federal Procurement Center. The investment will assist minority business enterprises (MBEs) in generating capital, investing in new technologies, winning federal contracts and expanding the minority business footprint within the economy. The MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Centers and Export Centers each will receive $400,000 a year for five years and the MBDA Federal Procurement Center will receive $500,000 in each of the five years.

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