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Remarks at Congressman Charles B. Rangel presents “Small Business and Entrepreneurs Event”


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MBDA National Director David A. Hinson MBDA National Director David A. Hinson
As Delivered

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thank you, Congressman Rangel, for that kind introduction. When Charlie Rangel speaks, something inside makes you want to say, Amen. Amen, Congressman, to your concern for those in need of a helping hand. Amen, to your willingness to speak truth to power. Amen, to your willingness to fight on the battlefield of Korea and in the halls of Congress. And on behalf of my generation, I want to thank you for passing a torch that is still lit and I promise you that we will work together to achieve your vision of a greater America.

It is always joy to share the stage with SBA Administrator Karen Mills. When SBA comes to an event, they come six or seven people deep. This speaks to the awesome power of SBA and the focused and excellent leadership of Karen Mills and Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. I, too, am glad to represent President Barack Obama, Secretary John Bryson and the “One Commerce” team here today. Before I continue I would like to introduce members of our New York team who have joined us today -- MBDA Regional Director Hayward Davenport and Imani Bennett.

As many of you are aware, the Department of Labor recently announced the monthly jobs report and for the 25th consecutive month, our economy has experienced job growth. During the Obama Administration we have created 4.1 million new jobs, and saved millions of existing jobs. This didn’t just happen. It’s the result of the Obama Administration’s focus on putting America back to work and constructing an economy that is built to last.

What you might find interesting is that the 4.1 million new jobs created during the short three-year period of our Administration is a full 1.1 million more jobs than were created during the 8-year period of the prior Administration. 466,000 of these new jobs were in manufacturing, the largest number since 1990. And across the board the economy is showing signs of increasing strength.

Still, we have much work to do. We are not there yet, but every day we get a little closer to creating the jobs that we need for those who have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. As you know a job is not just about income. In America a job is also about dignity; it’s about creating a strong family foundation; it’s about self-respect.

So I want to take a moment and thank all of you who are creating jobs through your companies or organizations. And for those of you who are entrepreneurs, who are on your way to creating new jobs, I want to extend the support of the Department of Commerce and the “One Commerce” team – we are here to assist you.

My agency, the Minority Business Development Agency, is the only federal agency tasked to promote the growth and global competitiveness of large, medium and small businesses that are minority-owned. Specifically, we assist your businesses in gaining access to capital, contracts and new markets.

Through our national network of 40 MBDA Business Centers, since the beginning of the Obama Administration, we have assisted minority-owned businesses in gaining access to $11 billion in contracts and capital, creating and saving nearly 20,000 jobs. This is the highest level of performance in the 43-year history of the Agency.

Two of our most important MBDA Business centers are located right here in New York City. So I need you to write this down: Suzette Bather at 646-821-4088 at our center located at 114 west 47th Street, 19th floor. Suzette, please stand. Her email is sbather@nycmbc.org. And Yehunda Turner at 718-522-5620 x300, located at 12 Heyward street 2nd floor in Brooklyn, NY. His email is yturner@odabdc.org. Or visit our website at www.mbda.gov to get this and other information.

If you are here and you want to expand your business by merger, acquisition, joint venture or strategic partnership – call us.

If you want to expand your business globally -- call us. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and each and every one of you has the potential to export. We must consider global markets, and you have real competitive advantages.

How many people know someone or live next to someone who is a foreign-born American – raise your hand? That person that you know could be your new global partner.

How many people have traveled to a country outside the United States – raise your hand? That place that you visited should be your new market.

Through MBDA you can gain access to substantial export assistance provided by the International Trade Administration…Export Import Bank…Overseas Private Investment Corporation…and several others.

How many of you are involved or interested in federal government contracting? Two weeks ago we launched our Federal Procurement Center in Washington, DC. It is MBDA’s first Business Center focused solely on helping minority-owned businesses compete for and win federal contracts. For decades minority-owned businesses have worked hard to gain access to federal contracts.

The Federal Procurement Center is here to help you gain the information, expertise and relationships you need to compete for and win federal government contracts. This Center is the direct result of President Obama’s commitment to expanding contracting opportunities for minority businesses. It’s a step forward in heeding the President’s call for fairness.

Finally, I want to invite all of you to MED Week our national conference held September 24-27 in Washington, DC. This conference is co-sponsored by SBA, so if you want to truly grow your business, you will want to attend. I want to conclude by saying thank you for all that you do.

But I also want to take a moment and remind you of the power that is right before you, the power that is right here in this room. You represent a community that is composed of 5.8 million businesses that contribute over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, and create directly and indirectly 16 million new jobs.

You represent a community that is twice as likely to export as non-minority owned firms; three times as likely to be pure exporters; and six times as likely to transact business in a language other than English. You represent the future of America as our nation moves toward a majority minority population.

And if the minority community were a separate nation, you would be the 17th richest nation on the face of the earth. Greater than the individual economies of the United Kingdom, Russia and France.

We are here because we need you to win. Our nation needs for you to win, create new jobs and also create a level playing field, so that when your children have companies and grand children have companies, they will be in a better position to compete than you are in today. The President is committed to creating a level playing field where everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. But if this level playing field is going to be created, we will have to do it together

So, I hope that you will engage us. Turn to us when you need assistance.  And take full advantage of the experience and expertise we bring to working with minority-owned businesses. The government can’t do everything, but working together we can continue to strengthen the economy. Working together we can construct an economy that’s built to last!

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