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Agency offers $6.3 million for Grant Competition

Job seekers at a construction job fair in New York in August. U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, a weak figure. /AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Some fortunate minority business owners will get a great opportunity to grow more jobs and expand their business without spending a dime. Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a grant competition. Those selected will receive anywhere between $300,000 to $500,000 annually over a three-year cycle. Additionally, they’ll get to connect with the 30 other established business centers.

Applications must be received by Saturday, June 22 to be considered and those awarded will manage one of the six Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) centers starting Sept. 1. The locations are in major metropolitan destinations including New York, Houston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Baltimore and Washington.

The agency’s director, David Hinson, says this opportunity, “is critical to furthering the Agency’s mission in assisting minority-owned businesses in gaining access to contracts, access to capital, and access to markets,” according to News One.

The goal of the MBDA centers is to offer consulting services to minority-owned businesses. Its mission is to assist with job development and help get these businesses increase their contracts and investments. The agency hopes the winners will focus more on international business. During its 2012 fiscal year, MBDA helped create and keep over 16,000 jobs.