MBDA awards over $2 million for disaster readiness and recovery

Photo Courtesy: Adeolu Eletu

Minority Business Development Agency aims to help minority business enterprises prepare for and respond to disasters

News Release

The U.S. Department of Commerce - Minority Business Development Agency

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has announced over $2 million in grant funding to help minority business enterprises (MBEs) prepare for and recover from disasters. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 25 percent of businesses do not reopen after disasters.

"Given the recent devastation caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters, our objective was to help MBEs develop and implement plans to increase their resilience and rebound after a natural disaster. MBDA will play a critical role in ensuring that minority-owned firms have the resources they need to prepare for and respond to a disaster,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II.

The following organizations have received funding to support priority initiatives in disaster readiness and recovery:

Disaster Readiness:

  • Asociación Productos de Puerto Rico, Inc. ($273,793) to establish disaster management plans, continuity plans, and training for businesses as well as support services.
  • Xavier University of Louisiana ($465,894) to electronically link MBEs to a Disaster Resource Registry for web-based training and access to a call center for technical assistance.

Disaster Recovery:

  • Houston Community College ($500,000) to launch a disaster recovery and resilience initiative that will provide tools and in-person and digital resources for business matchmaking and capital access. The project will also provide a training academy to MBEs that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council ($483,042) to construct agricultural parks (innovative pilot demonstrations for impacted farmers), and to survey the needs of minority farmers and match them with available resources.\
  • M. Gill & Associates ($500,000) to focus on practical and innovative ways of equipping MBEs with the information, training, and tools to identify available resources and to assist with financing, counseling, and disaster-related contracting opportunities.

These programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative this year. More than $13 million was awarded for 35 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital. For a full listing of MBDA’s 2018 grant awards, visit www.mbda.gov/news.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA, www.mbda.gov, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research. Our services provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets and better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally.

Contact: Velicia D. Woods, 202-482-6272, MBDAPublicAffairs@mbda.gov

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