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February 2011

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From the National Director Legislative Corner

David Hinson

Since last July, MBDA and the U.S. Census Bureau have been releasing data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners describing  details about  the minority business community. So far we have produced fact sheets on all  minority businesses, Hispanic businesses and this month, Black History Month, we release the African American business fact sheet .

The good news is that the number of African American-owned firms increased by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million firms. Employment at these firms also grew 22 percent from 754,000 to 921,000. The rate of employment growth is significantly higher than that of non-minority-owned firms which grew employment at a rate of less than one percent during the same time.

But the true economic potential of African American firms is not being unrealized. While gross receipts for all minority-owned firms are still well below the $490,000 average gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms in 2007, the average gross receipts for African American-owned firms actually fell 3 percent from $74,000 per firm to $72,000 between 2002 and 2007. The reasons for this discrepancy vary, but in essence it comes down to access to capital, access to contracts and access to new markets.

That is why MBDA is challenging minority businesses to embrace the President’s vision for “Winning the Future” and strive to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competitors. And, African Americans, because of the unique historical barriers have been masters of making a way out of no way so I am confident we will rise to the occasion.

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President Obama's FY 2012 Budget Requests $32.3 M for the MBDA to Expand its Services

Capitol Hill

The President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal requests $32.3 million, a increase of $822,000, for MBDA to expand its services and assistance to our nation’s 5.8 million minority businesses. 

Currently, MBDA funds 46 minority business centers located in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  These Centers receive partial funding to provide services to minority-owned firms through a grant program administered by MBDA.  The modest increase requested in the FY 2012 budget proposal would allow MBDA to fund two additional minority business centers and push the Administration’s travel and tourism initiative in concert with Native American tribes.

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Join MBDA at Hannover Messe: The Largest International Industrial Trade Fair

Hannover MesseAs the largest international industrial trade fair of its kind, Hannover Messe attracts representatives from a variety of industrial sectors including manufacturing, energy, services and more.  Participating in Hannover Messe will allow you to explore new markets, meet new contacts, recruit new customers, establish new networks and identify key trends in international trade and technology. 

As a participant or exhibitor, you’ll be among the first in the world to preview cutting-edge technologies from elite international firms. Join MBDA National Director David A. Hinson and business leaders from around the world at the Hannover Messe International Trade Fair, April 4–8, 2011.

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MBDA Helps Largest Minority-owned Company in Tennessee

Andre GistA strong competitive drive is what keeps Andre Gist thinking about how to parlay his success with Manufacturers Industrial Group (MIG), LLC into new ventures. Gist has the largest minority-owned business in the state of Tennessee. Today, he is considering how to diversify his $300 million business while branching out into foreign markets.

His daily routine includes monitoring opportunities emailed through MBDA’s Phoenix Opportunity System. “I signed up a few years ago, and I have gotten involved again. Since then, I go through the opportunities on a regular basis,” Gist said.

With MBDA’s help, he is also hoping to participate in one of the upcoming U.S. Department of Commerce trade missions.While he has 1,400 employees and six locations in Tennessee – three in Lexington, two in Athens, and one in Chattanooga – he is exploring the possibility of opening a facility in Mexico.

MIG is a contract manufacturer of welded assemblies and fabricated metals for the automotive and construction industry. The company specializes in automated welding processes, assembly and fabrication.

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