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Request for Comments on MBDA Rural Business Center Program

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Federal_Registry MBDA is seeking public comment on various issues related to rural areas and rural minority business enterprises to inform the agency and provide fundamental information regarding this sector of the economy. This notice requests comments on or before January 25, 2022.

MBDA is seeking comments from members of the public, including but not limited to operators of rural businesses and persons with expertise and information, to provide the following information related to minority businesses in rural areas:

  1. Describe the types of business operations in rural areas.
  2. What are the financial, operational, and logistical needs of rural business enterprises?
  3. Are there unique challenges faced by MBEs located in rural and remote areas of the U.S.? If so, describe.
  4. What are the best methods to provide education, training, legal, financial, and technical assistance to MBEs in rural areas?
  5. Are there examples or success stories from organizations that provide services to MBEs in rural areas?
  6. What specific performance metrics should MBDA consider for rural business centers that would measure service to rural businesses?
  7. What factors should be measured to demonstrate elements of success from the perspective of organizations that support, or customers served by rural businesses?
  8. What is the most effective role for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to foster the establishment and growth of MBEs in rural America and how should that impact be measured?
  9. How many MSIs have degree and/ or academic programs focused on business-related topics (e.g., entrepreneurship, supply chains, advanced manufacturing/ manufacturing, innovation, etc.) or offer business accelerator programs and/or business incubators? Provide names and locations of MSIs that have these programs.
  10. What is the most effective way for MSIs to collaborate with community-based organizations? Please provide examples.

In addition, MBDA is seeking public comment regarding the focal points for the rural business centers as directed by the section 100302(c) of the MBDA Act:

  1. access service (as defined in section 8.1(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation), digital literacy skills, and e-commerce by rural minority business enterprises;
  2. advanced manufacturing;
  3. the promotion of manufacturing in the United States;
  4. ways in which rural minority business enterprises can meet gaps in the supply chain of critical supplies and essential goods and services for the United States;
  5. improving the connectivity of rural minority business enterprises through transportation and logistics;
  6. promoting trade and export opportunities by rural minority business enterprises;
  7. securing financial capital;
  8. facilitating entrepreneurship in rural areas; and
  9. creating jobs in rural areas.

All comments must be submitted in electronic form (Word or other consistent software programs) to the comment mailbox listed: mbdapublicaffairs@mbda.gov

To view the full Federal Register Notice visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/30/2021-28331/rural-b….

For more information contact:
Danae Pauli, Senior Advisor to the National Director, MBDA, U.S. Department of Commerce, by email at dpauli@mbda.gov, or at (202) 482–2332.