August 3, 2017
VIA US MAIL
The Honorable Cory Gardner
354 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Re: ASIAN, Inc.
Dear Senator Gardner:
I write to you as a member of the Board of ASIAN, Inc. to encourage you to support full funding (at the current enacted FY2017 level) of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in FY2018, currently included the Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2018.1
I applaud the House and Senate appropriators for overwhelmingly passing appropriations bills that both fund the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at $34 million in FY2018. I urge similar support by the full House and Senate of their respective Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bills.
On average, MBDA facilitates more than $4 billion in contracts and capital for minority-owned firms annually. Between 2015 and 2016, ASIAN, Inc. contributed nearly $1.1 billion (or over a quarter) of all transactions facilitated by MBDA. Each MBDA center secures an average of $18.8 million worth of financial investment in minority firms; and higher-performing centers like ASIAN, Inc.’s secure more than $50 million worth of investment.
For the past eight years, MBDA has created and saved more than 142,000 jobs and achieved a return on taxpayer investment between 102x and 179x. Given the economic challenges that minority-owned businesses face and the income and wealth gap between minority and non-minority communities, it is important that we fund MBDA to support these firms with overcoming the obstacles that they disproportionately encounter.
I support ASIAN, Inc.’s call for not less than $17,000,000 to be awarded through cooperative agreements, external awards and grants. Attached to this letter is a graphic illustrating recent performance by ASIAN, Inc. and successes other MBDA center operators have had with their projects. I also attach a letter by Michael Chan, which provides additional context.
Very truly yours,
Royse Law Firm, PC
Attorney at Law
1 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018, H.R. 3267, 115th Cong. (2017).