AUG. 4, 2021–WASHINGTON, D.C.— In a major victory for Black-business owners and delivering on a key advocacy priority for the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC,) the Senate voted today to include authorization of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in the infrastructure package being debated in Congress. The Cardin-Wicker amendment, if passed into law, would make the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) permanent in statute. The codification of the MBDA represents Congress’ historical commitment to serving our nation’s most systemically disadvantaged business owners, and would help Black entrepreneurs gain access to capital, technical assistance, and opportunities for growth.
USBC President and CEO, Ron Busby, releases the following statement:
“Earlier this evening, the U.S. Senate took a remarkable step in championing Black business owners. Since our inception, USBC has led the way in advocating for a permanent, codified MBDA with the resources it needs to do its job. Our efforts were recognized tonight on the floor of the Senate and we are grateful to Senators Cardin, Wicker, Cantwell and Scott, without whom this agency would remain limited in its ability to help our community. This amendment passed with major bipartisan support—a clear signal that embracing Black entrepreneurship
The passage and inclusion of this amendment is a major milestone, but not the last step. We will fight to ensure this critical infrastructure package, strengthened by the Cardin-Wicker amendment, passes the Senate, the House and becomes law.”
The Amendment creates the position of Undersecretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development, giving Black business owners a stronger voice in Washington. Codification will also enable the MBDA to increase coordination between the agency and our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As the COVID-19 crisis continues to disproportionately affect Black businesses in our community, a codified and strengthened MBDA would drive desperately needed resources and support to Black businesses nationwide.