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May 2011

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From the National Director Legislative Corner

David Hinson

The month of May has brought with it a number of announcements, news releases and opportunities of interest to the MBE constituency MBDA serves.  With this month’s newsletter I’d like to highlight two opportunities for your participation—one designed to create jobs and another intended to reform government rules. I’d also like to present new business statistics about Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander businesses.  

Just last week, the Obama Administration announced the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to promote innovation and job growth and advance our global competitiveness. The competition offers a total of $33 million in funding from three federal agencies and technical assistance from 13 additional agencies to promote the development of at least 20 industry clusters across the country. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will be investing $10 million in funding and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will be supporting the program’s implementation.

The goal of the program is to spur economic growth through public-private partnerships in 20 regions across the country.  Applicants to this federal funding opportunity will be considered based on their ability to demonstrate a focus and measurable outcomes on achieving sustainable economic growth in the region; augmenting business formation, especially of small businesses, and leveraging existing business assets; increasing exports; developing a skilled workforce through outreach, training and the creation of career pathways, and integrating historically underserved businesses and communities into the economic activities of the regional cluster.

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Legislative Corner

States and Localities Review and Revamp Minority Contracting Programs

Recently, a number of state and local governments have begun taking a close look at their existing Minority and Women-owned contracting programs. A number of intergovernmental groups, such as the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, have advocated for additional assistance to minority-owned firms. The State of Maryland and the City of New York are two particular examples of this increased focus.

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MBDA Federal Procurement Center Pilot Program Solicitation Announced

MBDA seeks to fund an MBDA Federal Procurement Center (MFPC) that will provide services directed towards positioning Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) to better understand, access and obtain federal procurement awards (both prime and sub contracts). Through the MFPC pilot program, the Agency seeks to provide MBEs with specialized assistance in both identifying and accessing federal procurement opportunities, and in obtaining and performing on federal contracts.

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MBDA is Now Accepting Nominations for MED Week 2011 Awards

Download Award Brochure

Nominations are now being accepted for the Minority Business Development Agency's 2011 Excellence in Minority Business Awards. The awards are designed to recognize exemplary minority businesses and their accomplishments and best practices.

The MED Week Awards Program is designed to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing minority business enterprise. 

Complete an electronic or paper nominations no later than May 31, 2011.

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MBDA Helps Foxit Software Innovate Beyond Borders
Eugene Y. XiongEugene Y. Xiong was determined to get a piece of the American dream despite an extremely limited command of the English language and even less understanding of U.S. small business financing. But against the odds and with assistance from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), his company – Foxit Corporation – was born 10 years ago.

He recalls five years ago making less than $1 million. Today, the Foxit Corporation has $7 million in revenues due in part to the help of MBDA. Foxit now has offices in the U.S., China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and France.

Xiong was referred to MBDA after failed attempts to obtain bank loans and financing. Read More