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City Awarded $1.875 Million for Minority Business Development Center Operations

Five-year grant will help underserved business owners access capital, contract opportunities

Oct. 5, 2021

The City of Albuquerque has been awarded a $1.875 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to support the New Mexico MBDA Business Center, which is located in Albuquerque and operated through the City’s Economic Development Department. Funding will assist center operations integral to the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses.

The City will receive $375,000 annually over a five-year period, ending June 30, 2026, as long as satisfactory performance is met and congressional appropriations are made. The Albuquerque City Council gave formal approval of the funding Monday.

“In Albuquerque, 60% of small businesses are minority-owned, so this grant is an investment in the heart of our economy and is fundamental to accelerating our city’s post-pandemic recovery,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are committed to creating opportunities for businesses and families, part of which means promoting an entrepreneurial ecosystem with equity and inclusion at its core.”

The New Mexico MBDA Business Center has been operating since December 2020, from its offices at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce Barelas Economic Opportunity Center, 1309 4th St. SW. In its first 12 months, the center served 80 clients, yielded 47 contracts, and collected 21 success stories, meeting its operational goals and placing the center on a trajectory for future service excellence in the minority business community.

Nube Group is a client of the New Mexico MBDA in Albuquerque, and provides B2B and B2C services in document digitization, enterprise content management, electronic data management, and office hardware sales and services. They began working with the New Mexico MBDA during the last quarter of 2020.

“We began working with the Albuquerque MBDA to secure official recognition of our status as a woman-owned minority business, to further our efforts in diversity and inclusion, and to connect with customers who wanted to work with a minority woman-owned business like Nube Group,” said Kelly Martinez, president and majority owner of Nube Group. “Those goals were met and exceeded, and we are on track to expand not only statewide but nationally in the coming years.”

The New Mexico MBDA helps qualified clients access capital, identify and secure contracts, access new markets, and receive training and capacity development support. While there are no geographic limitations on who the center serves, it maximizes its economic impact locally by focusing on contract procurement in high-growth sectors such as space technology, film and digital media, directed energy, smart technology, and bioscience.

“As a minority-majority city and state, we recognize how critical investment in small businesses owned by people of color is to accelerating our economy and ensuring we are competitive on a national scale,” said Gabriela Marques, New Mexico MBDA Center director. “Our MBDA exists to foster equitable business opportunity and ensure underserved businesses have the tools to achieve their potential.”

In a letter announcing the grant, the U.S. MBDA said, “City of Albuquerque’s proposal demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the mission and goals of MBDA and the requirements of the Federal Funding Opportunity. In addition, their application presented a strong business development strategy and evidence of the expertise and community resources necessary to meet these goals.”

MBDA Business Center Program grants in various amounts were awarded to all 35 MBDA center locations nationwide. For more information about the New Mexico center in Albuquerque, visit