The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recently hosted the grand opening of the NY-Manhattan MBDA Business Center (NYCMBC).

The NYCMBC is a member of a nationwide network of over 40 centers designed to stimulate job creation and the growth of minority businesses. It is the third business center opened by NCRC, which also manages the Houston and Washington, D.C., centers.

The nationwide network of centers was established by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s MBDA to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy by increasing the number, size and prosperity of minority-owned firms.

“We work closely with minority businesses that have already been in business for at least three years and are earning $1 million and above in annual revenues,” said director Suzette Bather. “We facilitate access to contracts, market and capital, and we work to enhance their business’ organizational efficiencies.”

Bather also said that clients who become engaged with the center can access contracts and capital by way of utilizing the strategic partnerships and diverse businesses that they have attained by way of memorandums of understanding (MOU) and informal agreements.

“The goal of the NYCMBC is to increase the competitiveness of the MWBE community and assist them with growth through facilitating contract, capital and other resources for our clients.

“Our center works primarily with MWBEs in business for at least three years and earning $1 million and above in annual revenues. For someone who would like to open a business, we would be happy to speak with them and ensure that they are connected with the resources that are available to startups,” Bather said.

Another goal of the center is to create jobs, and in this climate, with the number of Blacks who are unemployed, the center could not have opened at a better time. Through growth of minority-owned enterprises, the center hopes to create 120 jobs during its first year.

By way of MOUs, the center has developed partnerships with the New York City Department of Small Business, Empire State Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Those relationships will provide opportunities to work together on workshops, seminars and outreach to educate and inform MWBEs. Businesses are also going to have access to contract and financing opportunities, specifically with the New York City Department of Small Business.

“Having a center like this enables local businesses to take advantage of the resources provided to them by our public servants,” Bather said. “It is also advantageous to get the knowledge of business consultants who are trained and have experience with procurement and financing without paying exorbitant fees.”

The NYCMBC is located at 114 W. 47th St. on the 19th floor. For more information, visit www.mbda.gov.