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.
It is estimated that in FY 2006 and FY 2007, the MBOC program will generate $562 million in combined financings and contracts. In 2006, the MBOC program was redesigned to include goals for Clients and Jobs Created as well as Number of Contracts and Financial Transactions.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Funds will be used in support of the MBDA policy statement on funding business development programs.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is charged under Executive Order 11625 with fostering new minority business enterprises and maintaining and strengthening existing firms to increase their opportunities to participate and receive the benefits of our economic system.
MBDA uses a portion of its program funds to award contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to public and private sector entities which have the greatest potential for developing access to capital, market, and other opportunities on behalf of minority business.
The performance of each funded recipient is evaluated on a scheduled basis.
Renewals are based on Agency priorities, funding availability, and performance of recipients.
Applicants for this program are Federal, State or local government entities or quasi governmental entities, American Indian Tribes, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and for project organizations.
Client/Beneficiaries of this program are minority business persons/firms. Eligible client/ 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.
Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-87 for awards to State, local and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; A-21, Cost Principles For Educational Institutions; and A-122 for other recipients. Administrative requirements are found in 15 CFR Part 24 for State and Local governments and Indian tribes and all others are at 15 CFR Part 14.
Aplication and Award Process
A pre-application conference may be scheduled for recipients of these awards.
Conferences will be announced in the Federal Register.
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
The standard application forms as furnished by the Department of Commerce must be used for this program. Recipients are subject to the administrative requirements contained in 15 CFR Part 14 or 15 CFR Part 24.
The application package will advise the applicant where pre-award audits may be required from applicants.
Deadlines for formal competitive awards are outlined in the Federal Register, Grants.gov and as detailed in the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Department of Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Executive Order 11625, Public Law 105-277.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
From approximately four to six months after closing date for submission of applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants shall be notified in writing at the same time.
All decisions are final. There are no administrative appeals.
Minority Business Opportunity Center (MBOC) awards may be made for a period of two years with funding provided on an annual basis at the sole discretion of MBDA and the Department of Commerce. Performance evaluations will be conducted, and funding levels will be established for each of the three budget periods. The MBOC will receive continued funding after the initial competitive year at the discretion of MBDA based upon the availability of funds, the MBOC's performance, and agency priorities.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Projects may be required to provide up to 50 percent minimum amount of cost-sharing in the form of in-kind contributions and/or cash.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
For one to two years depending on the requirements of the projects.
Post Assistance Requirements
Financial (quarterly and annually), narrative (semi annually); and, statistical reports are required.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit 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 that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.
Documents, papers and financial records of grantees or subrecipients relating to the MBOC program are required to remain available to the Federal Government for three years from the date of submission of the final financial status report in accordance with the applicable administrative requirements.
FY 07 $1,655,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
From $150,000 to $300,000.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
There are no applicable program-specific regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for this program.
Regional or Local Office
Contact the nearest Minority Business Development Agency Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-1940. Use the same number for FTS.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Competitive awards for the MBOC program are made based on a panel evaluation of the applications. This evaluation includes such factors as capability and experience of staff assigned to the project; techniques and methodology, creativity and innovation, resources and costs. MBDA publishes notices in the Federal Register, Grants.Gov, and the MBDA website when seeking applications for this program. Competitive proposals are normally sought every three years, upon availability of funds, and depending on the Agency's priorities.
Chris Blackwood is the founder of Helping Neighbourhoods Implement Change, a social enterprise that offers transformational mentoring to help change the lives of at-risk youth within the Canadian society.