Created on August 15, 2013
Fifty 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.
Created on August 15, 2013
Mobile MBDA Business Center Holds Forum to Help Minority Business Owners
Striving 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.”
Created on August 15, 2013
The 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.
|Created on August 15, 2013|
State of Connecticut Invests $2M for Minority Business Assistance Program
On July 24, 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that the State of Connecticut will provide $2 million to support minority contractors through the Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCo).
The program will be designed to help businesses obtain surety bonds for capital construction. It will also provide a revolving loan fund to help minority contractors cover costs incurred while awaiting payment during the construction phase of projects. HEDCo already administers a similar bonding guaranty program that was created in 2006. Under the program, 110 bonds totaling $12.4 million have been guaranteed.
Created on August 8, 2013
With the President’s recent trip to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as the announcement of two new trade initiatives, the spotlight is on Africa – and with good reason.
While speaking at the Business Leaders Forum in Tanzania, President Obama spoke of beginning a new level of economic engagement with Africa. The Doing Business in Africa Campaign (DBIA) is part of the president’s strategy, and the International Trade Administration (ITA) is proud to join other government agencies to support DBIA initiatives that are helping U.S. businesses compete on the continent.
Trade Africa aims to facilitate expanded trade on the continent. Its initial focus will be on the East African Community (EAC), a market with increasingly stable and pro-business regulations. The plan will support increased U.S.-EAC trade and investment, EAC trade competitiveness, and regional integration. The United States seeks to expand this initiative to other regional economic communities on the continent.