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Press Room December 2013
Remarks by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards Ceremony
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Monday, December 3, 2013
Remarks at Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards Ceremony
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker
Thank you, Director Hinson. Welcome to Washington and to the Commerce Department. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. When I became Commerce Secretary, I hung a sign on my office door just across the hall. It says “Open for Business.”
The facts are clear. We have momentum.
Our GDP has grown for 10 straight quarters.
Exports are up.
The deficit has been cut in half.
The Department of Commerce is giving nearly $1 million to promote minority business enterprises, or MBEs, in the St. Louis region.
The $900,000 grant announced Tuesday will establish a business center to provide minority entrepreneurs and business owners with contract and financing opportunities, bonding services and executive training.
The center is based on a new partnership among the St. Louis Minority Business Council, the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The Chicago organization will operate the center out of the St. Louis Minority Business Council’s office downtown.
Mayor Francis Slay says the initiative will increase financing and contract opportunities for minority business enterprises and help foster ties with major corporations.
“The grant aims to generate $75 million in MBE transactions in the first year, $100 million in the second year and $120 million in the third year,” Slay said.
MBDA National Director David Hinson says access to capital is generally the biggest impediment to growth for minority owned-firms.
“Capital does not flow to the best ideas,” Hinson said. “Capital flows to the best relationships. So a big component of this effort is to make sure that these minority-owned firms who are growing businesses, hiring people, creating economic opportunities for families, have the necessary relationships for them to prosper.”
December 2, 2013
WASHINGTON (December 2, 2013) —The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today recognized the 2013 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Award winners. The winners include 12 organizations, businesses and individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing the minority business community. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented the awards during a ceremony in Washington, DC.
“I am pleased to recognize and personally congratulate the 2013 National Minority Enterprise Development Week Award winners,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Helping American businesses grow and create jobs is the key focus of the Commerce Department’s ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ and today’s award recipients are playing a critical role in those efforts by helping minority-owned businesses innovate, expand and thrive.”
Winners were selected for the following awards: Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award; Champions of Minority Business Development; and Minority-Owned Firms. The awards are designed to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs based on the challenges the business has overcome, total revenues, total jobs created and the economic impact the business has had on the community. MBDA also recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing the minority business community.