The NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses has been awarded a 5-year grant in the amount of $385,000 from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to establish and operate the NC MBDA Business Center. The program will aid in the growth of North Carolina’s minority business enterprise (MBE) firms in the areas of business development and capacity building.
“Diverse businesses are critical to the success of our state’s communities and economy,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This Center will help historically underutilized businesses grow and create more jobs as North Carolina emerges from this pandemic stronger than ever.”
With the awarded funding, North Carolina will join 21 states and territories offering MBDA business and specialty center programs across the country.
“This grant could not have come at a better time as it will provide much needed support to minority-owned businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “Minority-owned businesses are significant to our state’s economy and the MBDA Business Center will be essential in nurturing minority business enterprise firms, providing opportunities and resources to assist in the post-pandemic world.”
In 2018 prior to the pandemic, there were more than 100,000 minority-owned businesses in North Carolina that realized more than $16.1 billion in annual sales according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To aid in post-pandemic recovery, MBDA business centers provide minority-owned firms a platform to reach global and domestic markets, enhancing growth, access to capital, contract opportunities and assistance in identifying strategic partners.
The NC Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) is delighted that North Carolina will be among the growing list of MBDA-based centers across the country. Currently, there are a combined total of 36 MBDA business and specialty centers located across the United States. The mission of the HUB Office is to promote the economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses in state government contracting and procurement that fosters their growth and profitability.
“I am excited and honored that the NC Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses has been awarded this significant grant to expand on our support of minority business owners who are crucial to our economic recovery post pandemic,” said NC HUB Director Tammie Hall. “The recovery of MBE firms will be a marathon and not a sprint, which is why this funding over the next five years will be vital.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. To learn more about the NC HUB Office and MBDA grant, visit their website for more information.
About NC Department of Administration
Established in 1957, the North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Pamela Brewington Cashwell since appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in 2021, the department oversees government operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs provide advocacy, assistance and services to diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.
About the NC Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses
Housed within the North Carolina Department of Administration, the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) serves to promote the economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses in State Government contracting and procurement that will foster their growth and profitability. HUB was established on April 20, 1999 through the signing of Executive Order 150.