Rep. McNerney Leads Bipartisan Effort to Save the Minority Business Development Agency

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Fights President Trump’s Plan to Eliminate the Agency

Washington, D.C. – In response to President Donald Trump’s proposal to defund the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) led two bipartisan letters to the House Appropriations Committee imploring Congress to fund the MBDA in the FY2018 appropriations, and recommending that MBDA provide an annual policy report to Congress to address gaps in equity between minority and non-minority owned firms.

The MBDA was established by President Richard Nixon in 1969 for “the establishment, preservation, and strengthening of minority business enterprise.” President Trump’s FY18 budget blueprint would defund the MBDA, which is the sole federal agency with the mission to promote the growth of minority-owned businesses.

“This is a historic and exciting time for minority-owned businesses, which are expanding in ever increasing numbers, beyond neighborhood retail and service industries and into modern high-tech and manufacturing,” said Rep. McNerney. “We must make every effort to empower and support the growth of minority-owned businesses; their contributions to local economies and communities cannot be overstated.”

The MBDA, which is a part of the Department of Commerce, is different from other federal agencies in that it focuses on the unique needs of minority-owned businesses and facilitates middle market and private equity financing among other customized and technical services. In addition, MBDA recruits export-ready Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) for Secretarial trade missions, multilateral partnerships, and global supply chains. Furthermore, MBDA assists select MBEs with diversifying revenues from federal to private sector contracting and consumer markets, and assists MBEs with partnering, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.

“Companies are looking at minority communities as powerful consumers, and we as Americans should look to the same communities as innovators and job creators. MBDA has a significant role in the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and community development. Funding MBDA is and will remain a priority,” said Rep. McNerney.

“The National Urban League has always supported efforts such as the MBDA to help create and grow businesses in communities of color. African American businesses are one of the fastest growing segments in the economy, however unemployment in the African American community is still unacceptably high. MBDA Business Centers in addition to the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers help grow African American businesses to scale to help them hire other people of color, which African Americans are more likely to do than other races. Any budget cuts to MBDA or other programs that help create jobs are counterproductive and should be voted down. We strongly support Representative McNerney’s efforts to increase funding for MBDA and similar efforts that help to ensure jobs in communities of color,” said Donald Cravins, Jr., Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the National Urban League Washington Bureau.

“As a non-profit that has worked for decades to ensure that minorities can achieve the American dream through sustainable entrepreneurship, ASIAN, Inc. thanks Congressman McNerney for his steadfast leadership in supporting the growth of minority-owned businesses in California and across the country. Because of his efforts, Congress has become better equipped to support millions of minority entrepreneurs, who play a critical role in our economy as job creators,” said Lamar Heystek, Director of the San Francisco Minority Business Center.

“As a person with over 30 years of experience and knowledge with the Minority Business Development Agency, MBDA has been one of the best programs in the history of this nation for job creation and business development, continued funding of MBDA is imperative because billions of dollars have been generated by the technical assistance and services provided to minority-owned business enterprises across America. I urge Congress to continue and expand funding of its budget for the benefit of the American business enterprise. Minority-owned businesses drive our economy and MBDA has proven to be the fuel. Thank you Representative Jerry McNerney for leading the fight in Congress to keep funding in place for MBDA and for being an ally to minority-owned business enterprises in the California 9th Congressional District,” said Bobby Bivens, Stockton Branch NAACP President.

According to a MBDA Fact Sheet, minority-owned businesses contribute $1 trillion in annual U.S. economic output, making up 29% of all U.S. businesses and generating 5.8 million jobs across our country.

Congressman McNerney was joined by more than 70 Members of Congress on the letters to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, (CJS) and Related Agencies.  The letters can be read here and here.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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