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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging Administration to Prioritize American Rescue Plan Funding for Minority-Owned Small Businesses

April 12, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) led a bipartisan House letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging their Departments to support the deployment of federal funding to  the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), through the State Small Business Initiative, to ensure relevant partners can access technical assistance programs geared towards minority-owned businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through its network of business counselors, minority chambers of commerce, minority businesses leagues, and other resources, the MBDA has uplifted and promoted minority-owned small businesses for more than 50 years. MBDA is eligible to receive funds from the $500 million allocation for technical assistance funds under Section 3301—the State Small Business Credit Initiative—as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A total of 33 House members signed on to the letter which can be viewed here

“While we recognize that small businesses continue to face enormous challenges due to COVID-19, minority-owned businesses have suffered at a disproportionate rate. The number of small businesses open and operating has plummeted to 33.6 percent, with Black-owned businesses seeing a 41 percent reduction while Latinx business owners saw a 32 percent drop in the number of active business owners between February and April 2020,” the Members wrote in the letter.

“As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, we were pleased to see that the MBDA is eligible for the $500 million allocation for technical assistance funds under Section 3301 - the State Small Business Credit Initiative,” the Members added. “With technical assistance funding from the CARES Act having been spent, it is critical that additional funding is provided so that MBDC network of business counselors, minority chambers of commerce, minority business leagues, entrepreneurial centers, and non-profit organizations continue providing services that address minority small businesses’ needs.”