Cantwell Applauds $1.5 Million Grant for Tacoma Minority Business Center

Senator: ‘this grant is an important step to drive new economic opportunities in Tacoma”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the former Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce’s $1.5 million, five-year award to the City of Tacoma to support operation of a Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center.

The grant program aims to support minority-owned firms create jobs, develop businesses, and compete in a global economy.

“This grant is an important step to drive new economic opportunities in Tacoma,” said Cantwell. “Promoting inclusive growth benefits the entire community and I will continue to fight to make sure women and minorities have the chance to compete on a more level playing field.”

The decision comes after Senator Cantwell sent a letter of support to Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker.

The Business Center offers training, mentoring, and counseling to help minority-owned small businesses. It also helps connect minority businesses with resources they need to start exporting  their products.

Cantwell has championed increasing opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, the federal government achieved its five percent women-owned small business contracting goal for the  first time in history – thanks in part to Cantwell’s Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act. In 2014, Cantwell released a report, “21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship,” which discovered that women entrepreneurs account for just $1 out of every $23 in small business lending and are more likely to be turned down for loans or receive less favorable terms than men.

Cantwell introduced the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act and has supported other legislation to address barriers uncovered by the report.