New Funding for Minority Businesses: Capital Readiness Program
Funding for minority businesses is not entirely scarce. But these businesses are often subject to higher costs and more stringent loan requirements, making it difficult to secure financing. This lack of access to capital has a major impact on the ability of minority businesses to start, sustain, and grow their businesses. Additionally, many minority businesses are denied access to government contracts, leaving them without the resources they need to expand their operations.
Fortunately, the US Department of Commerce has launched new funding for minority businesses to help for activities that enhance their ability to access capital and grow.
Minority Businesses in the US
As a nation, we have a long history of minority businesses that have provided a vital economic engine for countless communities. From small retail stores to tech start-ups, minority businesses have been instrumental in creating jobs, providing goods and services, and stimulating economic growth. Despite this, minority businesses are still underrepresented in the U.S. economy and often face significant challenges in accessing capital and resources.
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2018, minority businesses in the US were approximately 4.9 million, representing about 28.3% of all US businesses. Minority businesses employ 8.9 million people and generate $1.5 trillion in annual revenues. On average, the industries with the most employees per firm are employment services, warehousing and storage, and management of companies and enterprises.
These businesses have seen 38% growth from 2007 to 2012. Despite the growth in minority businesses, these businesses have much lower revenue and employment than non-minority-owned businesses. With more funding for minority businesses, we can help them grow and expand to new markets.
A New Funding for Minority Businesses
The Capital Readiness Program aims to provide funding to small businesses for activities that enhance their ability to access capital and grow. This program is a grant competition that aims to provide grants of up to $150,000 to help minority businesses develop business plans and financial models, build relationships with investors, and pursue other activities that will help them access capital.
The funds can also be used to pursue other activities to help businesses access capital, such as market research, product development, and marketing campaigns. Additionally, businesses can also receive research and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help them develop the capacity to access capital.
The Capital Readiness Program is financed by the Department of Treasury's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which has been reauthorized through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The US Department of Commerce has made its most substantial investment to date to back up minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs through the Capital Readiness Program grant competition.
This program allocates $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments, aiming to encourage entrepreneurship, offer more access to capital, and assist businesses in expanding—especially in communities that have traditionally not been well served. This program intends to serve entrepreneurs and businesses that are applying or have applied, or are intending to apply, to SSBCI or other government programs that support small companies.
Who are eligible to apply?
Eligible applicants include commercial and non-profit entities, state and local governments, Indian tribes, and higher education institutions. The competition is designed to incentivize applicants to provide childcare solutions, break down economic barriers for underserved communities, and support traditionally underrepresented, high-growth industries. Projects that promote these goals are encouraged to apply.
How can you apply?
Applications are due on February 28, 2023. Applicants must submit their applications for funding via grants.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to send an email of intent to apply by January 31, 2023, using the sample provided in the NOFO.
To better understand the program requirements and application processes, MBDA will be hosting webinars. These are the schedules:
- January 17, 2023 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST - In this webinar, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will give a summary of the criteria used to evaluate applications for the Capital Readiness Program. Participants will be able to take part in a live discussion and put forward questions.
- January 24, 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST - The MBDA will illustrate successful strategies and common mistakes to steer clear of while designing the Capital Readiness Program budget and work plan. There will be a chance to participate in an interactive conversation and submit queries.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a federal agency within the US Department of Commerce. It is dedicated to helping minority businesses expand and grow by providing access to capital, contracts, and markets. MBDA provides technical assistance, access to capital, access to markets, and other business development services to minority business owners. The agency’s network of business centers and regional offices are located across the country, providing services to minority businesses at the local, regional, and national levels.
According to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, MBDA is committed to fostering the expansion and competitiveness of minority businesses in the United States. Through the Capital Readiness Program, they are providing entrepreneurs and business owners with the knowledge necessary to apply for and gain access to small business funding opportunities.
MBDA is offering up to $3 million for a four-year period for those organizations that have not previously prioritized serving underserved communities to join forces with organizations that already serve those communities and apply for the grant. This will allow individuals from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to succeed and contribute to the growth of the country's economy.
How Can We Help Minority Businesses?
At Global Presence Marketing, we understand the unique challenges that minority businesses face. That’s why we are committed to assisting in finding funding for minority businesses. We also help minority businesses grow and succeed by providing comprehensive marketing, business-to-government services, and strategic advice.
First, we provide comprehensive marketing services that help businesses reach their target audiences and create positive brand awareness. Our services range from content marketing and social media to website design, SEO, email marketing campaigns, and more. These services help businesses gain visibility, attract customers, and increasing sales and profit.
We also understand the importance of establishing a strong presence in the government sector, so we offer comprehensive business-to-government (B2G) services. This includes building relationships with government agencies, providing resources and support to help businesses break into the government market, and helping businesses get certified to gain more access to government contract vehicles and opportunities.
Finally, we provide strategic advice and guidance to help businesses make sound strategic decisions to ensure their long-term growth and success. We work closely with business owners to identify opportunities, create competitive advantages, and develop the right plans and strategies to help them reach their goals.
Contact us today to learn more!