ALR Student’s Corner: Department of Commerce: Minority Business Development Agency

The Commerce Department’s mission is to make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. Responsible for everything from weather forecasts to patent protection, the following twelve departments of the Commerce Department impact the everyday lives of all Americans:

  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
  • International Trade Administration (ITA)
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) embodies the Commerce Department’s goal of maximizing job creation and global competitiveness by creating a new generation of minority-owned businesses that generate $100 million in annual revenues. The MBDA provides services in five major areas globally through its business center:

Global Business Development: Focus is on the importance of minority-owned businesses as a key component of U.S. international trade. Minority-owned firms have the most favorable export attributes of any sector of the U.S. economy and represent the future of export growth.

Access to Capital and Financial Management: MBDA’s business advisors offer extensive experience in commercial lending and banking, financial, credit and risk analysis and general finance counseling.

Access to Contracts: MBDA business development specialists provide procurement assistance to help minority-owned firms do business with the federal, state, and local governments as well as private corporations. These specialists provide identification of procurement opportunities, solicitation analysis, bid and proposal preparation, research contract award histories, post-award contract administration, and certifications assistance.

Access to Markets: MBDA services in this area include government procurement assistance, private sector contract identification, and specialized certification assistance, including 8(a), MBE, and Small Disadvantaged Business. Assistance with market research, market plan development, and marketing communications is provided, as well.

Strategic Business Consulting: This service area includes strategic and business planning, staffing, organization and structure, policies and procedures, and general business consulting.

Most recently, MBDA featured a segment on how minority manufacturing businesses have strengthened the “Made in America” brand. This year, MBDA recognized a couple of businesses for outstanding manufacturing impact and achieving significant success in employing new and innovative techniques that led to a significant increase in market share, job growth, and customer satisfaction. “Manufacturing creates good jobs and has the largest multiplier effect of any part of the economy,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director. “We are very proud of the tremendous achievements of minority businesses in the manufacturing industry that help grow the national economy through innovation, job and wealth creation.”

MBDA’s website is user friendly and provides an unlimited amount of information and resources, including a repository of publications for public research and review, dedicated to minority business developments.

New Resource in the Library: Hein’s National Survey of State Laws

The library is excited to announce a new addition to the collection: Hein’s National Survey of State Laws in both print and electronic format. The survey focuses on the more controversial and popular legal topics in the United States. The print edition is organized alphabetically by category and then alphabetically by subtopic within the category.

The electronic version is packed with functionality, including the ability to browse laws by category, subtopic, and the ability to browse all previous print editions. Additionally, the electronic version contains a searchable database which includes all previous editions.

Below are a few examples of why a researcher would want to use this resource.

Suppose you want to know what the civil statutes of limitations are on breach of contract for a client who does business in different states. With one click on the topic for “civil statutes of limitations” in the electronic database, you can see this information for all 50 states. What is particularly helpful is that you also get the citation information for each statute.
Perhaps you are a faculty member doing research on capital punishment and want to see what states have a death penalty statute and what language variations exist between the statutes. Furthermore, you might want to know any changes in the statute language over a period of time. A researcher can easily see this information by viewing previous editions of the survey which are readily accessible within the topic.
This resource is not only a tremendous time saver but also offers an easy to navigate platform to gather needed information.

To browse other electronic resources you can access through the Charlotte School of Law Library, check out our ResearchGuide Going Digital: Electronic Research Resources. And, as always, contact the LUX desk if you have any questions or need any assistance!