Recently, President Obama presented an aggressive plan to help small businesses get Americans back to work. The American Jobs Act  would provide payroll tax cuts for 98% of businesses, a $4,000 tax credit for hiring workers who have been unemployed for more than six months, and extend the 100% expensing tax credit for large and small businesses.
The plan also includes provisions to expand job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults through a new Pathways Back to Work Fund  that supports summer and year round jobs for youth; innovative new job training programs to connect low-income workers to jobs quickly; and successful programs to encourage employers to bring on disadvantaged workers.
The President is also directing executive branch agencies to accelerate their payments to small business contractors  so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth. Additionally, the President is tasking his CFO and CTO with creating a one-stop, online portal for small businesses to easily access government services.
MBDA is also making efforts to enhance the way minority-owned businesses do business with the government. In response to feedback from entrepreneurs, stakeholders and federal agencies, we will open a new MBDA Federal Procurement Center here in Washington, D.C. very soon. This Center, the first of its kind, will provide services to minority businesses across the country to better position them to access and obtain federal procurement awards. Federal contracting is an excellent way to grow your business, and MBDA is your partner and advocate for doing business with the federal government.
In other exciting news this month, MBDA awarded approximately $4.3 million  in funding over the next five years for three new MBDA Business Centers. The new centers, to be located in Boston, Mass., Minneapolis, Minn., and Riverside, Calif., will join the nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers  that provide assistance to local minority entrepreneurs and business owners by offering strategic business consulting services focusing on large public and private contracts, financing, and access to global markets.
Finally, in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to highlight the enormous contributions Hispanic-owned businesses have made to our economy. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, Hispanic-owned businesses outpaced the growth of non-minority businesses in gross receipts, number of firms, and—most importantly—employment.
During the time period surveyed, employment at Hispanic-owned firms jumped 24%, while employment at non-minority firms dropped by 1%. Hispanic-owned businesses employ nearly 2 million Americans and create hundreds of thousands of other jobs through their economic activity. Clearly, the Hispanic business community is a powerhouse of entrepreneurship and job growth. Download Hispanic-Owned Business Fact Sheet .
Still there is still work to be done and MBDA is steadfast in its commitment to ensure minority entrepreneurs have access to the capital, contracts, and markets to keep them strong and growing for the benefit of all Americans.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC for the 29th National MED Week Conference  and welcome your feedback throughout the year.