Minority Business Enterprise Centers

To provide electronic and one-on-one business development services for a nominal fee to minority firms and individuals interested in entering, expanding or improving their efforts in the marketplace.

MBDA's funded Minority Business Enterprise Center operators provide a wide range of services to
clients, from initial consultations to the identification and resolution of specific business problems.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - Contact the nearest Minority Business Development Agency Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Website Address

http://www.mbda.gov



Program Accomplishments

MBDA estimates in calendar years 2006 and 2007, the MBEC program will assist 4,254 clients and achieve a minimum of $614,269,965 in combined financings and contracts respectively.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) competitively solicits and will fund in Fiscal Year 2007 twenty-six MBEC's to provide standardized business assistance services to rapid growth potential minority businesses directly; to develop a network of strategic partnerships; to charge client fees; and to provide strategic business consulting through one-on-one management and technical assistance in designated states and/or Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) throughout the country.

Recipients of MBDA's MBEC financial assistance awards provide clients with advice and counseling in such areas business assessment and strategic business consulting, access to capital and access to markets.

These services may include preparing financial packages, business planning and counseling, business information and management assistance, accounting, marketing, business/industrial site analysis, production, engineering, construction assistance, procurement, and identification of potential business opportunities.

MBDA does not have the authority nor does it make loans to minority businesses.

Program funds in this category are restricted to providing management and technical assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

There are no eligibility restrictions for this program.

Applicants eligible to operate a MBDC may include individuals, nonprofit organizations, for-profit firms, local and State governments, Native American Tribes, and educational institutions.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Recipient operators are to provide electronic and one-on-one business assistance to rapid growth potential minority-owned businesses. Eligible beneficiaries of this program have been designated as African American, Native American, Aleut, Asian Indian, Asian Pacific American, Eskimo, Hasidic Jew, Puerto Rican, and Spanish-Speaking Americans.

Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for awards to State, local and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions; OMB Circular No. A-122 for other recipients; and 15 CFR Part 24 contains administrative requirements for States, local and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments. All other recipients are subject to the administrative requirements contained in OMB Circular No. A-110.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Pre-application and post award conferences will be scheduled for most MBDA projects.

These conferences will be announced in the Federal Register.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 15 CFR Part 24 must be used for this program. This program is subject to the provisions of 15 CFR Part 14.

Award Procedures

The Federal Register and Grants.Gov will advise the applicant where to submit the application. Each application will be reviewed and evaluated by MBDA. Name checks, verification of academic credentials and post-award audits may be required from applicants.

Deadlines

Deadlines for formal competitive awards are outlined in the Federal Register, Grants.gov, and as detailed in the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Authorization

Executive Order 11625, October 13, 1971; Department of Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Public Law 105-277.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From four to six months. Unsuccessful applicants shall be notified in writing within ten days of notification to the successful applicant.

Appeals

All decisions are final. There is no administrative appeal process.

Renewals

MBEC awards are typically made for a period of three years with funding provided on an annual basis at the discretion of MBDA and the Department of Commerce. Performance evaluations will be conducted and funding levels will be established for each of the budget periods. The MBEC will receive continued funding after the initial competitive year at the discretion of MBDA based upon the availability of funds, the MBEC's performance, and agency priorities. The current funding cycle (2004 - 2006) will terminate December 31, 2006. The next formal competition is tentatively scheduled for the Summer of 2006 with new awards beginning in January 2007.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. In most program areas, MBDA has established minimum requirements for matching or cost sharing by the recipient. New awards are generally required to provide a minimum 15 percent cost sharing through in-kind contributions and cash, including client service fees. MBDA reserves the right to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a nonfederal contribution is required in other program areas so as to successfully implement the program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards may be granted for one to three years.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Financial (quarterly and annually); program narrative reports (semi-annual and annual); statistical reports on each client are required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements contained in the Single Audit Act Amendments of l996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507). Commercial organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements as stipulated in the award document. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal Awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Documents, papers, and financial records relating to the MBEC are required to remain available to the Federal Government for 3 years from the date of submission of the final financial status report. All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of grantees or subgrantees are required to be maintained by the terms of the agreement. The grantee must retain records for 3 years after completion of the project or submission of the final financial report, whichever is later, and be readily available for inspection and audit.

Financial Information

Account Identification

13-0201-0-1-376.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $8,400,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$155,000 to $400,375.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

There are no applicable regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the nearest Minority Business Development Agency Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-1940. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Competitive awards for the MBDC program are made based on a panel evaluation of the applications submitted. This evaluation includes such factors as capability and experience of staff assigned to the project, techniques, methodology, resources and costs. MBDA publishes notices in the Federal Register, Grants.gov website and the MBDA website when seeking applications for this program. Competitive applications are normally sought every three years, upon the availability of funds and depending on the Agency's priorities.



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