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The Billion Dollar Roundtable

Blogged By: 
David A. Hinson, National Director
Created on August 23, 2013
 

Each year, since 1955, Fortune Magazine ranks the 500 largest corporations in the United States.  Corporations that are part of the Fortune 500, purchase goods and services from other businesses which in turn support thousands of other companies and millions of jobs across the nation.  Becoming a supplier to a major corporation is a growth strategy that many minority-owned firms incorporate into their business plans, and Fortune 500 corporations have responded by launching supplier diversity programs.  Some are more successful than others. 

The Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) was created 12 years ago to identify and honor those Fortune 500 corporations that have embraced the value of working with diverse suppliers and procuring quality products and services to satisfy their corporate needs.   Every corporation that is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable is formally committed to procuring at least $1 billion annually in goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses.  Today, there are 18 corporate members of the BDR, with many more on their way to achieving the $1 billion threshold.

Making the Connection Between Air Travel, Exports, and Jobs

Blogged By: 
Justin Fisk, Intern with International Trade Administration
Created on August 16, 2013
 

Departure BoardHouston’s exports have been soaring, and they will get an additional boost now that Air China, China’s flag carrier, opened up a non-stop flight route between Beijing and Houston.

This is Air China’s first non-stop flight route to the U.S. in 30 years, and it is easy to see why Air China chose Houston—the city consistently ranks near the top of the most globally-oriented business communities in America.

In fact, for the first time since the data has been collected, Houston became the top exporter among U.S. metropolitan areas in 2012. Houston’s goods exports totaled $110 billion, accounting for more than half of all Texas exports.

This new flight will only help Houston exporters continue to expand to new markets.

Behind Mexico, Canada, and Brazil, China is Houston’s fourth-largest export market, importing more than $5 billion of goods from Houston in 2012. With China’s rapid urbanization and growing middle class, demand for American-made products is likely to grow. This new flight is the next step in expanding the relationship between Houston and China.

The March on Washington - 50 Years Later

Blogged By: 
David A. Hinson, National Director
Created on August 15, 2013
 

David Hinson, National DirectorFifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King Jr. led a “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” that culminated at the Lincoln Memorial.  A quarter of a million traveled to Washington, DC, to hear what Dr. King had to say.  Millions more listened on television and radio.

The day began with Marian Anderson, one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, singing the National Anthem. The day ended with Dr. King delivering one of the greatest speeches ever given in American history.

It is interesting to note that no one ever called Dr. King’s speech the “I Have a Dream” speech until after he finished it.  The original title of his speech was “The Cancelled Check.”  He also called it “The Normalcy Speech.”  Dr. King chose those titles because an important part of his speech was about jobs. America, he said, was defaulting on a “promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”  He said “America has given… a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’” because of discrimination in jobs, limited job mobility, jobs that offered only minimum wages and high unemployment for the rest.

MBDA Business Center Spotlight: Mobile

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on August 15, 2013
 

Mobile MBDA Business Center Holds Forum to Help Minority Business Owners

Alabama StampStriving to help the Gulf Coast’s minority-owned businesses succeed, the Mobile MBDA Business Center held their first Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce on July 26.

The event provided a platform for government, financial, community, and business leaders to discuss the successes and challenges of the minority business community, and to formulate new strategies to ensure their growth and global competitiveness.

“In the 15 states represented by the Southern Office of the Council of State Governments, there are more than 1.5 million minority-owned businesses,” said Pamela Ramos, Mobile MBDA Business Center’s executive director. “Our forum gave minority-owned businesses an opportunity to find ways of networking and access to capital—two of the biggest hurdles they face in their path to success.”

Is there an export market for my company?

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on August 15, 2013
 

Trade DataThe Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration recently released U.S. metropolitan area trade data for 2012, which shows that overall exports are up for the third consecutive year. Specifically, exports are up in 31 of the top 50 metropolitan areas, 29 of which reached record exports between 2011 and 2012. Among the top 25, Washington, DC, recorded the highest growth between 2011 and 2012, increasing exports by nearly 43 percent. Exports from San Antonio, Texas, which has an MBDA Global Business Center, grew by 33 percent during the same period.

The Department of Commerce offers a wealth of tools and information for businesses to make choices about exporting to international markets. For example, did you know that U.S. companies sold $8 billion in transportation equipment and food products to South Korea last year? U.S. companies also exported $1.4 billion in agricultural products to Turkey.

These are just two examples of the kind of information available through the International Trade Administration’s TradeStats Express. Here’s another. Let’s say your company sells office furniture.  Using TradeStats Express, you can very quickly determine that furniture sales to Saudi Arabia have grown 153 percent from 2007 levels and that they are currently purchasing over $140 million in furniture and fixtures from the U.S.

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