Commerce Agency to Shut Five Regional Offices

February 20, 2012

The Minority Business Development Agency, an arm of the Commerce Department, plans to shut down all five of its regional offices by early next year and reassign their staffs to Washington, according to a spokeswoman and the agency's fiscal 2013 budget request.

About one-quarter of the 100-person workforce will be affected, and the agency has already requested permission from the Office of Personnel Management to offer early-retirement and buyout incentives, spokeswoman Bridget Gonzales said Monday.

The proposed closings will help the agency reduce its budget from $30.3 million this year to $28.7 million next year — about a 5 percent cut — the budget request says. The five offices are in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. 

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