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Minority Business Opportunity Center

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Minority Business Opportunity Center


Federal Agency




Department of Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Executive Order 11625, Public Law 105-277.






To promote access to key decision makers in the public and private sectors , facilitate the brokering of contracts and financial transactions, and identify and coordinate local business resources to benefit minority business entrepreneurs. Facilitate business opportunities for minority businesses through the utilization of public and private sector organizations that provide minority business owners/individuals with enhanced access to the marketplace by identifying and brokering procurement and contract awards, marketing and sales opportunities, financing transactions and potential joint ventures or merger and acquisitions; by promoting relationship building and sharing of business information between organizations in a geographic service area; by conducting media outreach, by disseminating economic data, by sponsoring workshops, conferences and seminars within service area; and by maintaining inventories of resources such as bid opportunities, sources of debt and equity funds, business ownership possibilities such as franchises, and prospective joint venture partners.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements).


Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds will be used in support of the MBDA policy statement on funding business development programs. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is charged under Executive Order 11625 with fostering new minority business enterprises and maintaining and strengthening existing firms to increase their opportunities to participate and receive the benefits of our economic system. MBDA uses a portion of its program funds to award contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to public and private sector entities which have the greatest potential for developing access to capital, market, and other opportunities on behalf of minority business. The performance of each funded recipient is evaluated on a scheduled basis. Renewals are based on Agency priorities, funding availability, and performance of recipients.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants for this program are Federal, State or local government entities or quasi governmental entities, American Indian Tribes, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and for project organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Client/Beneficiaries of this program are minority business persons/firms. Eligible client/ beneficiaries of this program have been designated as African American, Native American, Aleut, Asian Indian, Asian Pacific American, Eskimo, Hasidic Jew, Puerto Rican, and Spanish- Speaking Americans.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-87 for awards to State, local and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; A- 21, Cost Principles For Educational Institutions; and A-122 for other recipients. Administrative requirements are found in 15 CFR Part 24 for State and Local governments and Indian tribes and all others are at 15 CFR Part 14.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

A pre-application conference may be scheduled for recipients of these awards. Conferences will be announced in the Federal Register. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

The standard application forms as furnished by the Department of Commerce must be used for this program. Recipients are subject to the administrative requirements contained in 15 CFR Part 14 or 15 CFR Part 24.

Award Procedure

The application package will advise the applicant where pre-award audits may be required from applicants.


Deadlines for formal competitive awards are outlined in the Federal Register, and as detailed in the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From approximately four to six months after closing date for submission of applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants shall be notified in writing at the same time.


All decisions are final. There are no administrative appeals.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Projects may be required to provide up to 50 percent minimum amount of costsharing in the form of in-kind contributions and/or cash.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

For one to two years depending on the requirements of the projects.


Post Assistance Requirements


Financial (quarterly and annually), narrative (semi annually); and, statistical reports are required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.


Documents, papers and financial records of grantees or subrecipients relating to the MBOC program are required to remain available to the Federal Government for three years from the date of submission of the final financial status report in accordance with the applicable administrative requirements.


Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $1,655,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From $150,000 to $300,000.


Program Accomplishments

It is estimated that in FY 2006 and FY 2007, the MBOC program will generate $562 million in combined financings and contracts. In 2006, the MBOC program was redesigned to include goals for Clients and Jobs Created as well as Number of Contracts and Financial Transactions.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

There are no applicable program-specific regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for this program.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the nearest Minority Business Development Agency Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-1940. Use the same number for FTS.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

11.303, Economic Development-Technical Assistance
11.800, Minority Business Enterprise Centers
11.801, Native American Business Enterprise Centers
15.850, Indian Arts And Crafts Development
39.001, Business Services;
59.005, Internet-Based Technical Assistance;
59.006, 8(A) Business Development Program
59.009, Procurement Assistance To Small Businesses


Examples of Funded Projects



Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Competitive awards for the MBOC program are made based on a panel evaluation of the applications. This evaluation includes such factors as capability and experience of staff assigned to the project; techniques and methodology, creativity and innovation, resources and costs. MBDA publishes notices in the Federal Register, http://Grants.Gov and the MBDA website when seeking applications for this program. Competitive proposals are normally sought every three years, upon availability of funds, and depending on the Agency's priorities.


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