The president of the African American Mayors Association on Thursday praised the U.S. Senate confirmation of Donald Cravins Jr. as the first undersecretary for the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The African American Mayors Association submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to affirm our support for Mr. Donald Cravins Jr., in this new role that will support America’s cities and local innovation like never before,” said Little Rock, Ark., Mayor Frank Scott Jr., the association president. “For too long, communities of color have been locked out of full participation in the business due to systemic barriers to entry. The creation of this role is a key part of the Biden administration’s commitment to equity and inclusion.”

The MBDA become a permanent resource in the federal government as a result of the Minority Business Development Act of 2021, a part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The MBDA is the only federal agency with the mission of growing the global competitiveness of the country’s minority businesses.

“Minority-owned businesses significantly contribute to U.S. innovation and the economy,” Scott said. “As the first Under Secretary of the MBDA, he will ensure minority business owners can scale their businesses from midsize to large within their local communities. America’s mayors look forward to working with Under Secretary Cravins to build a more inclusive economy for all.”

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