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News and Announcements


  • Submitted on 17 October 2011

    Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank issued the statement below following Congressional passage of trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. The agreement with Korea is estimated to boost U.S. goods exports to that country by more than $10 billion, supporting 70,000 American jobs, while the Colombia and Panama agreements will immediately eliminate trade barriers for more than 80 percent of merchandise exports to those countries.

  • Submitted on 17 October 2011

    Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca BlankActing U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank delivered the keynote address at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Annual Meeting, where she highlighted the different ways the American Jobs Act would make an immediate impact on job creation: cutting taxes for small businesses, putting more money in the pockets of consumers through an expanded payroll tax cut, and preventing the layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen, while putting construction workers to work through much-needed renovations to school, roads, rail and airports renovations.

    Blank also discussed the Obama administration’s record supporting business expansion, highlighting the 17 different small business tax cuts implemented by the administration, major reform of the patent system that will bring the ideas of innovators to market faster, and investments in education and infrastructure that will help businesses thrive.
     

  • Submitted on 14 October 2011

    Memorandum of Understanding Among The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration And The Minority Business Development Agency And Republic of Turkey Ministry of Industry and Trade Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization

    The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to establish a partnership between the U.S. and Turkey in order to: exchange information about small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); provide networking opportunities for SMEs; and promote international trade between the U.S. and Turkish SMEs.
     

  • Submitted on 14 October 2011

    The Memorandum of Understandings with Tremco Incorporated, a company in the construction industry, establishes a partnership that will increase the number of qualified minority-owned businesses that will have direct access to a corporate training and mentoring program.

    Specific benefits include:

    • Classroom and on the job training in order for minority-owned businesses to become certified Tremco contractors.

    • Access to a program where businesses can explore and pursue opportunities as trained contractors within the federal, state, local, tribal, and commercial markets

  • Submitted on 03 October 2011

    AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
    Friday, September 30, 2011
    CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
    202-482-4883

    Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank
    Remarks at Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference

    Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca BlankThank you for the kind words, David [Hinson], and for your excellent leadership of the Minority Business Development Agency. Good morning, everyone. It’s an honor to be among so many talented entrepreneurs and business owners here for our 29th MED Week Conference. In my day job, before I was named Acting Secretary, I was the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs an economist who manages the Commerce Department’s two statistical agencies. Now, I know you all came this morning because you wanted to listen to an economist. But if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I want to talk to you about how our economy got to where it is today and what we need to be doing about it. 

    It’s a story worth understanding.  And it’s a story in which we need more chapters written by businesses like yours.  According to our latest survey (Census Survey of Business Owners, 2002), in terms of both numbers and gross receipts, minority-owned firms have grown faster than other firms. For many Americans, I imagine it seemed like we were doing OK in this century’s first decade. In some respects we were. There were folks making a lot of money.

  • Submitted on 03 October 2011

    Acting Secretary Rebecca BlankActing Secretary Rebecca Blank addressed the 29th Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference about the importance of Congress passing the American Jobs Act. Dr. Blank emphasized that the American Jobs Act will help a private sector in need of a little boost. It will create jobs. It will prevent the layoffs of teachers and first responders. And it will rebuild the roads, railways and airports that form the very backbone of Commerce. 

    She noted that the Obama Administration knows government can’t solve all the problems facing our country. What it can do is help lay a foundation for growth and create smart incentives for minority entrepreneurs and all American businesses to build something special on top of that foundation.
     

  • Submitted on 26 September 2011

    MINORITY ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT WEEK, 2011

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    Our Nation is guided by the simple promise that no matter our origins, we can provide a better life for our children.  We have long believed in a fair America, where, with hard work and determination, anyone can succeed.  Our story has been written by generations who have put their shoulders to the wheel of history to move our country forward.

    Barack Obama,President of the United States of AmericaToday, this legacy continues.  Our strength comes from individuals from all walks of life, and of every race and creed.  Minority owned businesses are engines of job creation and backbones of communities across America from Main Street to Wall Street, and from country markets to Silicon Valley.  They are on the cutting edge of development, and are strong competitors at home and abroad.  Small businesses, including minority owned enterprises, are where most new jobs begin.  To recover from this economic crisis and improve our competitiveness, we must help these job creators hire, grow, and revitalize our economy.

    My Administration is working to make this growth a reality.  Our Start up America initiative connects established private sector mentors to entrepreneurs, helping accelerate innovation through coordination.  Last year, I signed the Small Business Jobs Act, providing billions of dollars in lending support and tax cuts for small businesses.  The Federal Government is also the Nation's largest purchaser of goods and services, and every Federal agency is taking aggressive steps to improve contracting with small businesses, including minority owned firms.

    Even in challenging times, American entrepreneurs consistently respond to adversity with brighter ideas, more ambitious innovations, and smarter technology than the world has ever seen.  These businesses create jobs and support our communities.  As a Nation, we must continue to remove barriers to these opportunities, and ensure they remain open to all Americans.

  • Submitted on 22 September 2011

    MBDA Business Center operators Georgia Tech Research Corporation, United Tribes Technical College and Michigan Minority Business Development Council won awards for their projects on Health Information Technology, Environmental Risk Mitigation, Advance Energy Storage Systems, respectively.

  • Submitted on 22 September 2011

    16 Federal agencies come together to support development of high-growth industry clusters in 21 states

    WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration today announced the winners of the $37 million Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a multi-agency competition launched in May to support the advancement of 20 high-growth, regional industry clusters. Investments from three federal agencies and technical assistance from 13 additional agencies will promote development in areas such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, aerospace and clean technology, in rural and urban regions in 21 states. Projects are driven by local communities that identify the economic strengths of their areas, with funding awarded to the best proposals.

  • Submitted on 22 September 2011

    Alejandra CastilloMinority-owned businesses, including Hispanic-owned businesses, are the backbone of our nation’s economy and an engine of job creation and exports. Hispanic and other minority-owned businesses have been growing at a much faster pace and creating millions of jobs for Americans.

    Most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are 6 million minority-owned businesses, of which more than 2 million are Hispanic owned. Although employment declined by 1 percent among non-minority-owned businesses between 2002 and 2007, it has continued to grow at a faster pace among minority- and Hispanic-owned firms -- by 24 percent in a wide variety of industry sectors, and gross receipts increased by 55 and 58 percent for minority- and Hispanic-owned firms respectively during that same period.

    While we are living in challenging economic times and too many Americans are experiencing unacceptably long periods of unemployment, particularly among Hispanics and African Americans, minority- and Hispanic-owned businesses are at the center of our nation’s economic expansion.

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