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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) announced today that the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is awarding $275,000 to the MBDA Business Center and Michael Peacock, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, as part of a grant that supports job creation and retention, and economic impact within minority and Tribal communities and businesses.

The federal grant provides Native American and minority owned enterprises with tools to help them succeed including entrepreneurial assistance, access to capital, and Federal procurement training.

“Supporting Tribal and minority entrepreneurship is key to the future of New Mexico’s economy,” Udall said. “This grant will directly provide Native businesses in New Mexico with the technical assistance they can use to grow. When one New Mexican succeeds, it benefits our entire state. Michael Peacock and the MBDA Business Center will be able to expand services within our communities, inspiring the next generation of New Mexico’s entrepreneurs.”

“In New Mexico, economic success is not measured by the highs and lows of Wall Street, but by the ability to save for retirement, send your kid to college, buy a home, and pursue a dream of opening your own business,” said Heinrich. “This funding ensures that minority and Tribal communities have equal access to the resources and tools necessary to build on their ideas, create sustainable jobs, and join a vibrant business ecosystem. I congratulate the MBDA Business Center and Michael Peacock on receiving this grant and I remain committed to supporting every entrepreneur willing to work hard to support their family and community.”

“Every entrepreneur deserves the same access to opportunity and success, but many times the system doesn’t work for communities of color — it works against them. This funding will be particularly helpful to level the playing field and ensure that entrepreneurs impacted by systemic disadvantages have the tools to grow thriving businesses,” said Haaland.

The Minority Business Development Agency’s American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian (AIANNH) project supports services including entrepreneurial assistance, training, capital access, Federal procurement assistance, networking and relationship management, deal sourcing, joint ventures and partnerships, strategic infrastructure and economic planning assistance, and education for entrepreneurial and tribal entities.

This is the second year of the AIANNH program, and New Mexico has had a grantee each year. Last year, the MBDA awarded New Mexico Community Capital ($300,000) for their “Native Entrepreneur in Residence” (NEIR) business accelerator.

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