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Text of the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program Act

This bill was introduced on September 21, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 21, 2006 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6150

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 21, 2006

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

A BILL

To establish the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program Act.

2.

Purposes of national minority business enterprise incubator program

The purposes of the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program are—

(1)

to promote economic development and the creation of wealth and job opportunity in low-income areas and within areas of economic transition, inclusive of parts of the country with declining manufacturing bases and among minority individuals living in such areas through minority business enterprise incubation centers;

(2)

to develop a minority business enterprise incubation program with the mission of providing focused technical and managerial assistance to aid in the development of minority business enterprises;

(3)

to make grants to economic development organizations and other entities for the purpose of providing business incubation services to minority business enterprises; and

(4)

to revitalize and reuse industrial or commercial sites for entrepreneurship and economic growth.

3.

National minority business enterprise incubator grants

(a)

In general

In accordance with the requirements of this section, the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency may make 3-year to 5-year grants to eligible organizations to establish and operate minority business enterprise incubator programs.

(b)

Applications

To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an eligible organization shall submit an application to the National Director at such time and in such form and manner as the National Director may require. Each such application shall include the grantee’s plan for establishing and operating a minority business enterprise incubator program.

(c)

Selection of grantees

In selecting the grantees under this section, the National Director shall evaluate and rank applicants in accordance with predetermined selection criteria that will be stated in terms of relevant importance of such criteria. The relative importance of the criteria shall be made publicly available and stated in each solicitation for applicants made by the National Director. The criteria shall include the following:

(1)

The experience of the applicant in conducting business development.

(2)

The experience of the applicant in technology and manufacturing.

(3)

The extent to which the incubator will assist in the development of low-income, women, or minority business, or the revitalization of rural areas, inner cities, central cities, or depressed manufacturing areas.

(4)

The extent to which the proposed site is in an area of high unemployment and will result in the reuse of a previously used industrial or commercial site.

(5)

The extent to which the applicant has a management team in place with experience in running a business incubator or relevant business development experience.

(6)

The extent to which the applicant’s plan will result in the economic development of low-income communities or high-unemployment areas.

(7)

The ability of the applicant to successfully establish and operate a minority business enterprise incubator program.

(8)

The ability of the applicant to enter into cooperative agreements with financial institutions to provide a streamlined process for business concerns utilizing the minority business enterprise incubator program to obtain financial assistance.

(9)

The ability of the applicant to provide the services of licensed professionals.

(10)

The extent to which the applicant’s plan for establishing and operating a minority business enterprise incubator program will do the following:

(A)

Enhance minority business enterprise development.

(B)

Meet the needs and goals of the community in which the incubator is to be located.

(C)

Serve as a catalyst for further entrepreneurial development.

(D)

Involve the rehabilitation of a warehouse, factory, or building which has fallen into disrepair.

(E)

Assist in redeveloping and reinvesting in an economically challenged or disadvantaged area.

(F)

Target minority and women entrepreneurs.

(G)

Focus on the development of manufacturing and technology.

(H)

Retain or create jobs.

(I)

Include assistance regarding marketing, financial management, human resources development, and access to capital (both debt and equity).

(d)

Grant requirements

Each grantee shall use the grant funds to establish a minority business enterprise incubator program, which shall make the following assistance available (on a shared or unshared basis, as the grantee may determine) to businesses participating in such program:

(1)

Office space.

(2)

Office equipment, including computers, facsimile machines, photocopiers, access to telecommunications services (including broadband services), and manufacturing equipment.

(3)

Administrative and technical staff.

(4)

Training and technical assistance in the areas of marketing, financial management, human resources, and contracting.

(5)

Assistance in obtaining loans.

(6)

Assistance in locating investors and networking with local business organizations.

(7)

Individualized reviews of marketing, financial, and business plans, which shall occur monthly for such period as the National Director may determine and quarterly thereafter.

(8)

Legal, accounting, and marketing services.

(9)

Mentoring program with established, successful, large businesses to last the duration of the business’ stay in the incubator.

(e)

Additional assistance

A grantee may use grant funds to provide family care services to participating business and any other assistance which is approved by the National Director.

(f)

Additional program requirements

(1)

Participating businesses

Each grantee shall select the businesses which will participate in the grantee’s minority business enterprise incubation program. The grantee shall select businesses which have the potential to be self-sustaining. Each grantee shall require participating businesses to participate in the technical and managerial training described in subsection (d)(4), to submit marketing, financial, and business plans and to participate in the review of such plans described in subsection (d)(7).

(2)

Cooperative agreements with financial institutions

Each grantee shall enter into a cooperative agreement with one or more financial institutions to provide a streamlined process by which participating businesses may obtain loans.

(3)

Fees

Each grantee may charge participating businesses a fee for the assistance provided to such business by the grantee. The amount of such fee shall be determined under a sliding scale based on the financial success of the participating business. The grantee may only charge a nominal fee for the first 2 years of such businesses participation in the incubator.

(g)

Non-federal matching funds

The National Director shall not make available any grant funds under this section until the grantee has contributed non-Federal matching funds in an amount equal to 50 percent of the amount of such grant funds.

(h)

Eligible organizations

For purposes of this section, the term eligible organization means any of the following:

(1)

An organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code.

(2)

A business league, chamber of commerce, or board of trade described in section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code.

(3)

A local development agency that is chartered, established, or otherwise sanctioned by a State or local government.

(4)

A small business development center (within the meaning of section 21 of the Small Business Act) or equivalent minority business enterprise center, as defined by the National Director.

(5)

A college or university.

(6)

A unit of State or local government.

(i)

Federal coordination

The National Director, in consultation with the Economic Development Administration, the Rural Development Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Small Business Administration, shall—

(1)

undertake efforts to coordinate and enhance Federal programs that relate to minority business enterprise incubation programs; and

(2)

invite State and local governments, lending institutions, and other appropriate public and private organizations to serve as intermediaries in outreach efforts related to minority business enterprise incubation programs.

(j)

Reports

(1)

Initial report

One year after the first grant is made under this section, the National Director shall transmit to the Congress a preliminary report regarding the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program conducted under this section.

(2)

Final report

Four years after the first grant is made under this section, the National Director shall transmit to the Congress a final report regarding the National Minority Business Enterprise Incubator Program conducted under this section. Such report shall include any recommendations of the National Director regarding ways to improve such program and the recommendation of the National Director as to whether such program should be extended.

(k)

Authorization of Appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 and 2009, which amounts shall remain available until expended.

4.

Definition

As used in this Act, the term National Director means the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency.