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Press Room January 2012


MBDA Presents $1.775 Million Grant to Open New Business Center

The Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) presented a grant to SoCal Corporate Growth Partners for $1.775 million to operate a new MBDA Business Center in Riverside, California

MBDA National Director David Hinson was joined by Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge and Daniel Sieu, CEO & President of SoCal Corporate Growth Partners to celebrate the opening of the new Riverside MBDA Business Center, which will be operated over five years. 

Federal Government Help for Manufacturing Companies: How Commerce Contributes

US-Made Auto Parts

In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama laid out proposals for how to bring about a new era of American manufacturing, with more good jobs and more products stamped Made in the USA.  A few of the proposals are:

  • Reward companies for bringing jobs back to America.

  • Lower tax rates for companies that manufacture and create jobs in the United States.

  • Get tough on trade enforcement.

  • Create more jobs and make us more competitive by rebuilding America using half of the savings from ending foreign wars.

These proposals build upon the efforts already underway by the White House.

At the Department of Commerce, we support manufacturers in a multitude of ways:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing. MEP also works with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that put manufacturers in position to develop new customers, expand into new markets and create new products.

Hispanic Executive: Leading a Powerful Agency Under President Obama's Administration, Alejandra Castillo Helps Minority Businesses Thrive

Hispanic Executive Alejandra CastilloRaised between two worlds government executive Alejandra Castillo has come to accept - to leverage, even - her hyphenated Dominican-American background. Serving as national deputy director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), she fights doggedly to connect minority companies to business opportunities. It's a fitting role, as she has spent much of her life analyzing socioeconomic factors that affect ethnic communities and enterprises.

Franchises a Draw for Minority Entrepreneurs

The International Franchise Association recently released new research on minority-owned, female-owned and joint female/male-owned franchise businesses. The report, Franchised Business Ownership, 2007: Minority and Gender Groups, prepared by the IFA Educational Foundation (IFAEF) and based on the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Survey of Business Owners, shows minority and joint ownership (female/male) of franchise businesses increased from 2002 to 2007, while female ownership declined.

"Franchising offers opportunities for all Americans to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "Despite a continued challenging economic environment, franchising continues to offer opportunities for women and minorities to become small business owners, particularly when benchmarked against other industries."

$2.5 Billion Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program for Small R&D Firms Extended 6 Years

Last week, President Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for another six years.  This long-term reauthorization is good news for the innovative small businesses that these programs support.  SBIR and STTR invest about $2.5 billion a year in America’s most promising small research and development companies.  Through SBIR and STTR, federal agencies with large R&D budgets provide competitive awards to help small businesses bring their best innovations from the drawing board to the marketplace.  SBIR and STTR operate in three phases, providing support for research, development, and commercialization.

Over the years, SBIR and STTR have played a role in the growth of firms like Qualcomm, Symantec, and others.  From 2002 to 2006, about 25% of R&D Magazine’s top 100 annual innovations came from companies that had received an SBIR grant at some point in their history.

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