Luján Introduces Legislation to Expand & Make Permanent Minority Business Development Agency
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of Senate Committee on Commerce, in introducing the Minority Business Resiliency Act of 2021. The bill would make permanent and expand the reach of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which was created by Executive Order in 1969. The bill would also place MBDA regional offices in more communities, increase the agency’s grant making capacity, and create a Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development.
Introduction of the bill comes on the heels of the Biden Administration’s FY2022 budget proposal, which would increase funding to MBDA by more than 40 percent and appoint an Assistant Secretary of Commerce to manage the agency.
“I’m grateful for Chairman Cardin’s leadership to address the disparate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on minority-owned businesses,” said Senator Luján. “This bill will authorize the Minority Business Development Agency for the first time and increase the support it provides to businesses owned by Hispanic and Native American entrepreneurs. The legislation requires MBDA to partner with Hispanic-serving institutions and Tribal Colleges to create a workforce pipeline and ensure that the next generation of business leaders is prepared to meet the challenges today and in the future.”
Click here to download a section-by-section summary of the bill.
In addition to Senators Luján, Cardin, and Cantwell, this legislation was introduced alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.)