Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the appointment of 25 members to the new National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprises . The advisory council will be led by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and provide advice and recommendations to the department and the administration on a broad range of policy issues affecting the minority business community.
The new council is the first to focus on promoting minority businesses since around 1969, when President Nixon established MBDA – formerly the Office of Minority Business Enterprise – and an advisory council to oversee and advise the new office.
The minority business community is an engine of economic growth and job creation. Today, there are approximately 5.8 million minority-owned firms generating $1 trillion annually and employing nearly 6 million workers. Yet, there continues to be challenges within the minority business community. Of those 5.8 million firms, only 800,000 have more than one employee and the gap in average annual revenue between minority-owned and non-minority-owned firms is significant.
The Obama Administration is committed to narrowing that gap and finding ways to support and promote minority businesses.
“The nation’s 5.8 million minority-owned firms have significant untapped potential that can benefit the United States,” said David A. Hinson, MBDA’s national director. “The advisory council has an opportunity to shape future policies and programs that will set the foundation for the growth of $100 million companies across all industries that are owned and operated by U.S. minorities.”
The first meeting of the new National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprises is planned for early 2011.