Congressman Cohen Leads Letter Urging Extension of Funding for Minority Business Development Agency Centers

December 4, 2020
Press Release
Helped establish Memphis MBDC

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today led a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chairs of the Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science asking them for their continued support for Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) business centers and extended funding through September 30, 2021. Without an extension, businesses centers across the country will shutter on March31, 2021when their five-year grants expire.

The letter reads in part:

“We cannot afford to lose this economic lifeline. Minority-owned businesses employ more than 6.3 million people and generate over $1.8 trillion in annual revenue. They have a significant impact on the national economy that only continues to grow over time. However, minority-owned businesses also face unique challenges that non-minority-owned businesses are less likely to encounter. For instance, banks and investors are less likely to offer loans or investments to minority-owned businesses. The average loans the firms receive are also smaller and charge higher interest rates. Because of the massive racial wealth and income gap, minority business owners also have less access to the informal networks that businesses traditionally rely on for pursuing opportunities. The economic disadvantages of minority communities also reduce the sales and opportunities for businesses that operate in them. The pandemic has only further exacerbated these inequalities.”

The following House members joined Congressman Cohen in signing the letter: Dwight Evans from Pennsylvania, Joyce Beatty from Ohio, Danny K. Davis from Illinois, Adriano Espaillat of New York , Raul M. Grijalva from Arizona, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. from Georgia, Barbara Lee from California, James P. McGovern from Massachusetts, Jerry McNerney from California, Eleanor Homes Norton from Washington, D.C., Donald M. Payne Jr. from New Jersey, Jamie Raskin from Maryland, and Dina Titus from Nevada.

See the entire letter here.