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Statement by Secretary Gina Raimondo and Deputy Secretary Don Graves on Nuziard v. MBDA Court Ruling

Since it was founded in 1969 by President Nixon, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has been committed to its mission of promoting the growth of minority business enterprises through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research. This mission is grounded in the knowledge that achieving the full potential of the U.S. economy requires that every American entrepreneur can start and grow their businesses regardless of background.

In the three years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress and President Biden took the long overdue steps to authorize and codify MBDA, we have made critical progress in this mission and our work to close the resource and access gaps between minority-owned and non-minority-owned businesses.

In March, a federal court in Texas ruled on a case that had the potential to disrupt MBDA’s work in service of its mission. Ultimately, while the court acknowledged minority business enterprises “have far less access to capital and credit…due to racial discrimination in lending markets,” it ruled that Congress violated the Constitution by requiring MBDA to presume that members of specified racial or ethnic groups experienced discrimination or had an impaired ability to compete, due to a lack of capital and credit opportunities, and therefore were eligible for MBDA Business Center services. 

We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling but our primary goal is to ensure MBDA can continue to meet its mission to promote the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises in order to unlock the country’s full economic potential.

The Department of Justice today communicated to Congress that, after careful consideration, it will not appeal the court’s ruling.  The injunction does not currently prevent MBDA from continuing to fulfill its mission, which is our fundamental priority. We remain motivated, now more than ever, to ensure that all Americans have the resources and opportunities needed to start and grow flourishing businesses, create generational wealth, and contribute to our shared economic prosperity.

Our country’s long-term success requires a truly level playing field for all Americans regardless of their race, gender, or religious affiliation. Our economic competitiveness requires that we harness the strength of our diversity and the talents of all Americans. We see America’s future as one that is grounded in dignity, equality, and freedom. For more information about the Department of Commerce’s equity resources click here.

Link to Fact Sheet: https://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2024/06/fact-sheet-us-department-commerce-support-minority-business-enterprises

Link to Resource: https://www.commerce.gov/work-us/services-businesses/resources-minority-business-enterprises

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2024/06/statement-secretary-gina-raimondo-and-deputy-secretary-don-graves

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