TACOMA, Wash. -- In a meeting with Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced that the City of Tacoma was awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in support of its MBDA Business Center. The City's MBDA Business Center has served growing minority-owned businesses in the local area and region since September 2016. Through June 30, 2026, the City will receive $400,000 annually in federal funds over a five-year period, as long as satisfactory performance is met and congressional appropriations are made. “I am excited and honored that the City's MBDA Business Center has been awarded this significant grant to expand on its support of minority business owners, who are a critical component of our economic recovery,” said Mayor Woodards. “This is a wonderful acknowledgment of the great work the City and its partners have accomplished over the past five years. Businesses are a vital part of our community’s character and vitality, and we will continue our efforts to be an inclusive and opportunity-rich economic environment for all entrepreneurs and business owners in Tacoma and the region." According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the City's grant proposal not only demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the mission and goals of MBDA and the requirements of the Federal Funding Opportunity, it also highlighted its strong business development strategy and expertise, and that it had successfully harnessed the community resources necessary to meet its goals. With these grant dollars, the City will continue its work to help minority-owned businesses in the local area and region access capital and contracts, and expand market opportunities at home and abroad. They will be supported by a federal team of MBDA staff, and receive business development and grant management training annually. MBDA is the only federal agency created to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the United States. More information about the City's MBDA Business Center is available at mbda-tacoma.com.