Agency Helps MN Minority-Led Cos. Add 200 Jobs
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) said this week that it helped minority-owned businesses throughout Minnesota obtain more than $86 million in contracts and capital—allowing them to create and retain 201 jobs—in its 2012 fiscal year, which ended August 31.
The MBDA’s goal is to help secure minority-owned companies annual contracts and capital—in the form of loans, equity investments, or bond funds.
Minneapolis is home to one of MBDA’s more than 40 business centers nationwide, which offer programs and services meant to better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, increase revenues, and expand capacities.
For the MBDA’s latest fiscal year, the agency said that it helped its Minnesota clients secure contacts that had a value of more than $80 million combined, and about $5.7 million in capital.
One of the most successful examples of the Minneapolis center’s work was with Ham Lake-based North Metro Asphalt, LLC. According to the MBDA, the company had opportunity for growth but lacked the capital and cash flow to expand. So the agency provided business consulting in marketing and financial planning, which helped it obtain $1.9 million in capital and $480,000 in contracts—which in turn helped it add 40 jobs and retain 10.
Since working with the agency, the company has grown from $1.9 million in 2011 sales to $3.4 million in 2012, according to the MBDA.
“The MBDA Business Center is putting this economy back together one job at a time, and in our case, 50 jobs at a time,” North Metro Asphalt President Eric Larson said in a statement.
To be eligible for assistance from the MBDA, a company must have annual revenue of $1 million or more, have “high growth potential,” and operate in a “high growth industry,” according to the agency.
“We help people with marketplace connections, which could mean procurement opportunities, strategic partner introductions, and other resources that ultimately secure new business contracts and customers,” George Jacobson, director of the Minneapolis MBDA center, told Twin Cities Business. “We also help prepare financing packages, underwrite loans, and secure capital from a variety of financial institutions that we partner with.”
In Minnesota, about 40 percent of the money from contracts that the MBDA helped facilitate was in the private sector, while the rest was for government entities. Most assistance in Minnesota went to the construction industry, followed by wholesale trade and transportation.
The agency set a record nationally in its 2012 fiscal year by helping its clients obtain more than $3.6 billion in contracts and capital and create or retain 16,730 jobs in the United States, the highest level in the organization’s 44-year history.
The cities in which minority-led businesses aided by the MBDA added the most jobs were Detroit (3,284), Denver (1,433), and Indianapolis (964).
MBDA National Director David Hinson said the report “illustrates the crucial role MBDA plays in helping U.S. minority-owned businesses grow and expand globally, particularly because of the quantifiable return on investment and impact these businesses have on our economy.”