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News and Announcements


  • Submitted on 03 December 2013

    David Hinson - Credit (Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)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.”

  • Submitted on 29 November 2013

     This August, as we marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we were reminded that the measure of America's progress is not whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a little wider for a few, but whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many. Minority-owned businesses play a crucial part in driving this progress -- not only when their founders pursue their fullest measure of success, but also when they offer employees of all backgrounds a chance to enter the ranks of the American middle class. During Minority Enterprise Development Week, we recognize the strength of our diverse workforce and the many ways minority entrepreneurs contribute to our economy, our society, and our Nation's fundamental promise.

  • Submitted on 14 November 2013

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker

    AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Remarks at the "Open for Business" Agenda

    Thank you.  It is such an honor to be with so many business leaders as we roll out our strategic vision and priorities for the Commerce Department.

    And it is particularly great to be here at 1776, which grew out of the resident’s Startup America initiative.   Here at 1776, revolutionary ideas are turned into products, business plans, and companies.  We can all feel the excitement and energy here because of the vital guidance and support that organizations like 1776 provide to budding entrepreneurs.  Can everyone give the 1776 community a round of applause? 

    1776 is the perfect name for a place where start-ups are launched.  As America’s founding entrepreneur, Benjamin Franklin, once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  That notion comes to life here in a place where insight, ideas, and sweat equity result in new businesses… and perhaps even new industries.

    Many things have changed since 1776 – but our American entrepreneurial spirit has remained steadfast. 

    I, personally, have started several businesses.  I have felt that energy and excitement – and yes at times the fear – that comes with a start-up.

    Since I came on board at the Commerce Department, I have worked to foster that kind of environment where good ideas can rise to the top.  Our 44,000 employees were already doing a great job, but we started pushing for ways to make our work even more meaningful, customer-focused, and outcomes-oriented.

    On my first day, I hung a sign on the door to my office that says, “Open for Business.”

  • Submitted on 06 September 2013

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement on the release of the July 2013 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. U.S. exports hit the second-highest monthly level on record in July, dropping slightly to $189.4 billion, from an all-time monthly record of $190.5 billion in June. Record export levels were achieved in services and petroleum products. Exports through the first seven months of 2013 totaled $1.3 trillion, keeping the United States on track for another record-setting year.

  • Submitted on 08 August 2013

    The United States exported a record $191.2 billion of goods and services in June 2013, according to trade data was released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department. U.S. exports in June 2013 reached an all-time high, exceeding the previous record of $188.7 billion set in December 2012.

  • Submitted on 08 August 2013

    Americas Trade Winds Business Development Conference and Trade Mission

    Americas Trade Winds Business Development Conference and Trade Mission

    May 15-23, 2014

    Connect to a world of opportunity in the Americas

  • Submitted on 08 August 2013

    Grow your Sales in Mexico

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced she will lead her first business development mission to Mexico City and Monterrey from November 18-22, 2013. This mission will further elevate and strengthen this dynamic bilateral commercial and economic relationship and highlight new U.S. business opportunities with Mexico.

  • Submitted on 29 May 2013

    The U.S. Government, in keeping with the National Export Initiative, is committed to sponsoring an unprecedented number of trade missions focusing on the most innovative and competitive sectors of our economy.  The Department of Commerce trade missions are overseas programs for U.S. firms that want to explore and pursue export opportunities by meeting directly with potential clients in their markets.

  • Submitted on 14 May 2013

    Rangel's Business And Innovation Conference at Lehman College Draws Hundreds

    Congressman Rangel, Dr. Rebecca Blank, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and David Hinson, the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)New York, NY – Over  two hundred constituents filled the Faculty Dining Room of Lehman College in the Bronx on Thursday, April 4, 2013, to attend the Business and Innovation Conference hosted by Congressman Charles B. Rangel. Along with guest speakers Dr. Rebecca Blank, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and David Hinson, the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Rangel answered questions from constituents regarding the landscape for the business community and the economy.

    "President Barack Obama is pushing for initiatives that help business owners and entrepreneurs to succeed as they play an increasingly vital role in our nation's economic recovery," Rangel said. "Dr. Blank and Director Hinson's presence here today serves as a reminder that the government values your contributions to our ability to compete globally and is actively working to help you thrive. Hardworking business owners are the backbone of our economy, which is why I organized this event to give you the tools and resources needed to expand your businesses or start new ones."

    "There’s no time like the present for this gathering. We need its necessary focus on our local economy, on job creation and on the ways that government can support business growth," said Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor of The City University of New York (CUNY), as he welcomed Rangel, the guest speakers and event attendees to the Lehman College.

  • Submitted on 10 May 2013

    WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF ALEJANDRA Y. CASTILLO, ESQ.NATIONAL DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

    Before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
    May 8, 2013

    Alejandra Castillo

    Madam Chairwoman Landrieu, Ranking Member Risch, and Members of the Committee, Thank you for inviting the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to appear before the committee to speak on such a critical topic as strengthening the minority women-owned business community. I ask that my statement in its entirety be submitted for the record.

    Minority-owned businesses in general contribute significantly to this nation’s economy. According to the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms contributed $1 trillion in total economic output to the economy and employed nearly 6 million Americans.[1]

    Additionally, minority-owned firms are a driving force for the global competitiveness of the United States economy. As more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power and 95 percent of its population live beyond U.S. borders, [2] the ability of firms to compete in the global marketplace is a major source of strength for the national economy. To that end, minority-owned firms have the best export statistics of any segment in the U.S. economy. These firms are more likely to export their products and services as non-minority-owned firms, three times as likely to derive 100 percent of their revenues from global transactions, and three times as likely to transact business in a language other than English.[3] With their ability to break down cultural and linguistic barriers, minority-owned firms are helping lead the way to securing our economic prosperity.

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