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MBDA grant to open Minority Business Center in Boston

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MBDA grant to open Minority Business Center in Boston

Banner Staff

In an effort to stimulate minority business growth, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recently announced approximately $4.3 million in funding over the next five years  to create three new MBDA Business Centers (MBC) in Boston; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Riverside, Calif.

The MBC program is a key component of the overall portfolio of minority business development services offered by MBDA and was recently restructured to extend cooperative agreements from three to five years and expand the MBC nationwide network.

The Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) was named project operator for the new MBDA site in Boston.

“ … [We are] excited,” said Dr. Fred McKinney, CEO and president of the GNEMSDC. “Every once in a while, something big happens. We believe that the center will lead to minority business enterprise growth, greater employment and more economically vibrant and diverse communities.”

The new centers will join a nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers that provide assistance to local minority entrepreneurs and business owners by offering strategic business consulting services focusing on large public and private contracts, financing and access to global markets.

With help from the new MBCs, minority-owned businesses can learn how to boost their exports in support of global competitiveness and the overall growth of the national economy.  The federal commitment to the Boston project is $275,000 per year for the next five years.

“Minority-owned businesses are an integral part of the local, national and global business communities,” said MBDA National Director David Hinson. “The services they provide and the jobs they create generate trillions of dollars in economic output. By investing in our Business Centers, we are ensuring that minority-owned businesses get the direct assistance they need to be successful and vital contributors to the U.S. economy.”

Historic black meeting house in Boston restored

The nation’s oldest existing black church building is nearing completion of a four-year, $9.5 million restoration project done with the help of federal stimulus funds.

Gov. Deval Patrick , the state’s first black governor, toured the 205-year-old African Meeting house in Boston on Monday, calling it an “extraordinary piece” of the state’s history, and of the history of the African American people.

The meeting house was a key venue for the anti-slavery movement in the 19th century, hosting famous abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. It also played a role in the formation of the all-black 54th Massachusetts regiment that fought in the Civil War.

The project included restoration or replication of all original pews, wall finishes and cast-iron posts in the building. It is scheduled to reopen to the public in December.

Former Massachusetts Speaker Salvatore DeMasi asks judge to delay date he has to report to jail

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has asked a judge to put off the day he must begin serving his sentence on corruption charges so his lawyers can have more time to prepare arguments on why he should remain free while his appeal is pending.

DiMasi is scheduled to report to prison Nov. 16.

He was sentenced to eight years for using his political clout to steer state contracts to a software firm in exchange for kickbacks.

In a motion filed Friday, DiMasi and co-defendant Richard McDonough asked that a Sept. 23 hearing on their request to stay free pending appeal be delayed until they get trial transcripts to use at the hearing and in appeals.

Both asked a judge to put their surrender on hold until the hearing is held.

Associated Press