LAS VEGAS, NV – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement applauding news of a grant totaling $400,000 awarded to the nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa, Nevada Inc. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), was given to support the nonprofit’s operation of an MBDA Business Center in Nevada. This announcement comes following a letter Senator Rosen wrote to MBDA in support of Chicanos Por La Causa, Nevada Inc’s application for funding.
“During the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19, minority-owned businesses in Nevada and across our nation have faced disproportionate challenges and difficulty in receiving needed aid,” said Senator Rosen. “I am glad I was able to help secure this grant funding, which will be used to finance the operation of an MBDA Business Center here in our state, bringing informational resources, technical assistance, and training expertise to Nevada's minority business owners. I will continue my work in Congress to support Nevada’s small businesses as they recover, and to see that successful entrepreneurship and economic empowerment are achievable for all Nevadans.”
The full text of Senator Rosen’s letter in support of Chicanos Por La Causa, Nevada Inc.’s application for MBDA funding can be found here.
BACKGROUND: Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers were created to provide business expertise to minority-owned firms seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and growing in size and scale. Some of the areas that these Business Centers specialize in include securing capital, competing for a contract, identifying strategic partners, or becoming export-ready.
Senator Rosen has long supported the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency – the only federal agency created to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the United States, and has worked to help support minority-owned businesses in Nevada and across our nation.
In April, Senator Rosen became an original co-sponsor of the Minority Business Resiliency Act of 2021, legislation that would make the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) permanent under federal law and increase the number of MBDA regional offices to serve additional minority small business communities impacted by COVID-19. The Minority Business Resiliency Act of 2021 would address the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on minority businesses and support them on the road ahead by:
- Making MBDA permanent in statute and formally establishing processes for its largest program, the Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) Program;
- Expanding the geographic reach of the MBDA by authorizing the creation of regional MBDA offices and rural business centers;
- Creating a new program to partner with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) to build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent;
- Designating a Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development to lead the MBDA;
- Increasing MBDA’s grant-making capacity to carry out economic development and research; and
- Increasing MBDA’s fiscal year 2021 budget to fund these initiatives.
In April, Senator Rosen and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act. This bipartisan legislation would establish a Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to award grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to promote and increase opportunities for minority student business ownership and entrepreneurship.
At the onset of the pandemic, Rosen’s team launched a bilingual small business portal with information for small businesses to access loan applications and Small Business Administration (SBA) resources.
Small businesses that are experiencing difficulties navigating federal assistance can also send their inquiries and questions to SmallBusiness@Rosen.Senate.gov, and a team of dedicated bilingual professionals will respond to provide assistance.