March 30, 2011 21:45 UTC

MBDA Announces Grant Competition

Agency seeks candidates to operate Minority Business Centers in Upper
Midwest, Northeast and Southern California

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency
(MBDA) today opened a grant competition to candidates interested in
operating MBDA Business Centers in three U.S. regions: the Upper
Midwest, the Northeast and Southern California. Selected candidates will
receive funding to support business center operations and will join a
national network of 27 other MBDA Business Centers.

The primary objective of MBDA Business Centers is to provide strategic
business consulting services to minority firms that will result in
increased public and private sector contracting opportunities and
capital investments, ultimately leading to the creation of new U.S. jobs.

“Minority-owned firms generate a trillion dollars in economic output and
are responsible for employing more than 5.9 million Americans. Our goal
is to unleash their competitive advantages so they can help America win
the future,” said Alex Doñé, associate director for business development
at MBDA. “The leaders of our MBDA Business Centers are key partners in
achieving MBDA’s mission and helping minority-owned firms to grow
through assistance with exports, mergers and acquisitions, joint
ventures and strategic partnerships.”

MBDA intends to award three (3) individual cooperative agreements to
manage and run the MBDA Business Centers beginning September 1, 2011.
The grant award covers a five-year period, and selected candidates will
initially be funded for the first award year with subsequent funding
periods subject to MBDA Business Center performance and funding
availability. Awards will range from $225,000 to $355,000 annually.

Each MBDA Business Center is strategically located in areas with
substantial minority populations and minority-owned firms. However, MBDA
Business Centers are not limited by geographic region and may serve
minority businesses in all fifty states and Puerto Rico.

Eligible Applicants:

For-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships,
partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations), non-profit
organizations, state and local government entities, American Indian
Tribes and educational institutions are all eligible to apply to operate
MBDA Business Centers. Entities may apply to operate more than one MBDA
Business Center, however, an individual application for each location is

Submission Requirements:

Applicants must review and adhere to the program details and
instructions for submitting an application identified in the Announcement
of Federal Funding Opportunity
(FFO). The FFO can be accessed at www.Grants.gov
or www.mbda.gov.

Applications must be submitted electronically and time-stamped at www.Grants.gov
by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 5, 2011. Applications time-stamped after the
deadline will not be considered.

Pre-application teleconference:

MBDA will conduct a pre-application teleconference on Thursday, April 7.
The teleconference will provide a background and summary of the MBDA
Business Center program, and offer potential applicants an opportunity
to ask questions about the program and the application process. The time
and registration instructions for the teleconference will be posted on
MBDA’s website shortly. Applicants should visit MBDA at www.mbda.gov
for more information.

Note: The MBDA Business Center program is not a grant program to
start or expand an individual business. Applications must be to operate
an MBDA Business Center and provide business consulting services to
eligible minority-owned firms as set forth in the Announcement of
Federal Funding Opportunity.
Applications that do not meet these
requirements will not be considered by MBDA.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA (mbda.gov), a bureau at the U.S. Department of Commerce, serves
minority entrepreneurs across America who are building and growing
enterprises. MBDA helps minority-owned firms become better equipped to
create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic
and global marketplaces. With a nationwide network of business centers
and strategic partners, MBDA assists minority entrepreneurs and business
owners with consulting services, contract and financing opportunities,
bonding and certification services, building business-to-business
alliances and executive training.


Minority Business Development Agency
Bridget Gonzales, 202-482-6272

Source: Minority Business Development Agency