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USBC CEDC and Other Organizations Awarded in the MBDA Capital Readiness Program Grant Competition Providing Support for Minority-Owned Businesses

USBC Community Economic Development Corporation and 42 other non-profit and community organizations awarded the MBDA Capital Readiness Program, which is a $125 million initiative aimed at assisting underserved entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. The Capital Readiness Program is the largest-ever direct Federal investment in small business incubators and accelerators of its kind. 


[Washington, DC ; August 5, 2023] – Yesterday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the recipients of The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Capital Readiness Program signifying a groundbreaking initiative to empower and uplift minority entrepreneurs and businesses across the nation. Administered by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), this program represents the largest dedicated investment ever made by the Commerce Department to support minority-owned enterprises.



In Photo: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris
In Photo: Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce



The MBDA Capital Readiness Program is a $125 million initiative aimed at assisting underserved entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. The program will support business incubators or accelerators that help these entrepreneurs prepare to secure funding from the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative and other sources. This program’s launch is significant for the MBDA, which became a permanent Federal Agency in November 2021 through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


Among the prominent organizations honored as winners in this transformative grant competition are the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), National Asian / Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE), United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). See the full list of grant award winners here.



In Photo: Alisa Joseph, VP, USBC Director of Programs; Antwayne Ford, USBC Vice Chair, Board of Directors; Ron Busby Sr., USBC President & CEO; Don Cravins Jr, Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development; Kelisha Garrett, USBC Board Member and Vice-President for Operations & Governmental Relations of The Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation Inc.



Ron Busby Sr., USBC President & CEO, commended the Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency, stating, “Today marks a monumental step towards a more equitable economy. The Capital Readiness Program will provide unprecedented support to minority entrepreneurs and businesses, opening doors to new opportunities and driving inclusive economic growth. This remarkable investment reflects a recognition of the immense contributions made by Black and minority-owned businesses to our nation’s economy. It is our goal tol amplify our efforts in creating lasting prosperity for underserved communities.”


Alisa Joseph, VP, Director of Programs, also expressed her gratitude to the MBDA for their continuing unwavering support, saying, “This is another example of MBDA’s ongoing commitment to minority entrepreneurs. Together we are igniting a powerful force that will drive entrepreneurship, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth for generations to come.”


This significant grant allocation comes at a time of positive economic indicators, including robust job numbers, a record number of new small business applications, and accelerating GDP growth. The Capital Readiness Program further solidifies the USBC’s commitment to enhancing opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs and businesses and promoting inclusive economic prosperity across the nation.


USBC is honored to be part of this historic moment and remains steadfast in its mission to empower Black-owned businesses and drive equitable change. For more information about the Capital Readiness Program and USBC’s ongoing initiatives, please visit


In Photo: Unknown, Ron Busby Sr.; Jessica Cavazos Sworn, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development; Chiling Tong, President & CEO, National ACE; Unknown; Unknown