The Biden-Harris Administration announced today a list of actions it is taking to deliver funding and other resources help development of small businesses in underserved communities, including $100 million in new technical assistance grants.

Funding for the grants will be provided through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, and will be managed by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

“MBDA will issue a $100 million notice of funding opportunity to provide technical assistance grants for entrepreneurship technical assistance providers to help businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDIs) launch, scale and connect with growth capital,” the White House said.

In addition, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo today instructing Federal agencies to bump up their goals for procurement funding for Small, Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) to 12 percent of fiscal year 2023 governmentwide procurement. That figure is up from the goal of 11 percent for FY2022.

“Today’s action will put agencies on a path to meet the President’s goal of increasing annual SDB spending from an average of 9.8 percent over 5 years prior to the start of the Biden-Harris Administration to 15 percent by FY 2025,” the White House said.

The administration also announced plans for a $1 billion investment to underrepresented communities by the Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC), which is made up of private sector organizations.

One such EOC partnership is between Micron and Alphabet, who will work together to create a new Semiconductor Career Certificates Program (SCCP) which will be focused on training students for new technical jobs of the future.

The program is meant to “open up pathways for students, especially students of color, to obtain the tens of thousands of new, highly paid technical and operational American jobs created through their recently announced plans to invest in domestic memory manufacturing,” the White House said.

Other EOC members will be establishing a Center of Excellence (COE) for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that will allow them to get access to technology and data.

“Google, BNY Mellon, Citi, KeyBank, Mastercard, Moody’s, and Upstart are establishing a Center of Excellence for the more than 1,000 CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that serve over 1 million people in low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities per year,” stated the release.

“This shared platform will provide CDFIs and MDIs with the access to the technology, data, and professional expertise from EOC members,” the White House said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.