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News and Announcements


  • Submitted on 25 November 2014

    Commerce’s Economic Development Administration Now Accepting Proposals for Coordinating Efforts to Identify, Promote, and Expand Best Practices for Industry-Driven Regional Job Training

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting proposals for a national partner to help coordinate the Accelerating Industry-led Regional Partnerships for Talent Development ­­Program, a new learning exchange that will focus on building critical regional partnerships to accelerate job skills development across America.

  • Submitted on 06 November 2014

    At Discover Global Markets forum in Atlanta, Secretary Pritzker focuses on trade and investment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of 15 private sector leaders to the newly established President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). PAC-DBIA members – representing small, medium, and large companies from a variety of industry sectors – were selected to advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on strengthening commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.

  • Submitted on 03 November 2014

    Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country's character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models of government to our Founding Fathers -- American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America. Today, their spirit and many contributions continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our country. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor their legacy, and we recommit to strengthening our nation-to-nation partnerships.

  • Submitted on 03 November 2014

    Across our Nation, in laboratories and around kitchen tables, passionate and creative entrepreneurs are developing new sources of clean energy, cures for life-threatening diseases, and inventions that will transform the way we see the world.  America has always been a country of risk takers and dreamers -- where anyone who is willing to work hard can turn a good idea into a thriving business -- and our spirit of ingenuity remains a powerful engine of growth, creating jobs and bolstering our economy.  This month, we recognize the grit and determination of American inventors and innovators and their many contributions to our Nation, and we reaffirm our commitment to support these entrepreneurs as they develop the products, services, and ideas of tomorrow.
     

  • Submitted on 17 October 2014

    This Sunday, October 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA) are launching Business Sunday, a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting religious congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the federal government.

    Business Sunday events, which will take place in cities and towns around the country, are primarily aimed at individuals looking to start or grow their business. Organized in partnership with local religious congregations and civic associations, these events include presentations from local experts from the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), SBA, and the Department of Health and Human Services on how to access important technical assistance, business counseling, loans and other practical resources. Following the event, attendees will have the opportunity to network and speak individually with the government staff.

  • Submitted on 07 October 2014

    Are you a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell?  If so, submit your nomination today for the 2015 National Small Business Week Awards. Nominations are currently being accepted online at http://awards.sba.gov.

    For more than 50 years, SBA has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions in their local communities, and to our nation’s economy. Winners will be announced during National Small Business Week in May 2015.

    Last year, we honored husband-and-wife team Billy Taylor and Brook Harvey-Taylor, the founders of Pacifica which is based in Portland, Oregon as the National Small Business Persons of the Year. With Billy’s entrepreneurial spirit and Brook’s creative vision, the two founders started making candles in 1997. A bold change in the line of products from home fragrances to beauty and perfume products put Pacifica on a growth path to more than double their revenue over a five-year span, ending in 2014. Since 2010 they have managed to expand their staff each year and now have 110 employees.

  • Submitted on 17 September 2014

    Secretary PritzkerSecretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addressed the urgent need to boost our companies’ economic competitiveness by bringing more women into corporate leadership at the Global Conference on Women in the Boardroom, hosted by the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

    Pritzker noted that this pressing challenge of addressing the of a lack of women in corporate leadership is nothing new in American business. Female advancement in corporate America is stagnant. Women hold less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. Women hold less than 17 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies. And 10 percent of these companies have no women on their boards at all. 

    Women in corporate leadership roles is not solely a women’s issue. Secretary Pritzker argued that it is an issue of economic competitiveness and the presence of more women in the boardroom is critical to companies’ creativity, performance, and ability to thrive in the 21st century. Leadership with diverse and different backgrounds typically mean more creativity, fresh ideas, and better outcomes. 

  • Submitted on 16 September 2014

    Business OwnersToday America can boast its first black president, a growing minority middle class and a rising number of Hispanic, Asian and African-American millionaires and billionaires.

    But many minority-owned businesses still face significant challenges in competing in a marketplace where the odds were stacked against them for decades.

    Even today, many minorities lack access to capital to launch their businesses or allow them to grow and expand to the next level. And many also find it difficult to gain entry to public and private sector contracts.

  • Submitted on 16 September 2014

    Hispanic American-Owned Firms

    In Fiscal Year 2013, MBDA helped Hispanic American-owned businesses access $1 billion in contracts and capital, which led to the creation and retention of 8,965 jobs.

    Quick Facts about Hispanic American-Owned Businesses2

    • There are 2.3 million Hispanic American-owned firms in the United States.

    • Hispanic American-owned firms contribute $351 billion in U.S. economic output and 1.9 million jobs per year.

    • Hispanic American-owned firms with employees average eight workers and $1.1 million in annual receipts.

    • Between 2002 and 2007, Hispanic American-owned firms grew faster than the national average (44 percent) in 27 states and Washington, DC.

    • Hispanic American-owned firms are more concentrated in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

    Success Story: InterChez

    Hailing from humble beginnings in Cleveland, Ohio, Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes now leads a large and fast-growing international supply chain business. InterChez, a company she runs with her husband Mark, is comprised of several specialized operating units: InterChez Logistics Systems, InterChez Global Services, and InterChez Technologies. Entering its 13th year in business, InterChez employs over 40 full-time employees in Ohio and Michigan.

    The InterChez team consulted with the Cleveland MBDA Business Center on strategies to grow the company by 50 percent. It was determined that financial assistance was needed to achieve that growth, so the Center assisted by identifying potential investors from its pool of financial partners. As a result, InterChez connected with KeyBank and secured a $1 million line of credit.

    The Cleveland MBDA Business Center continued to support Ramos-Chesnes and her business after the initial deal was done. When Ramos-Chesnes expressed interest in Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Minority Executive Program and the great value it would bring to InterChez and her community, the MBDA Business Center offered to sponsor her attendance. Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes graduated from the program in 2013.

  • Submitted on 05 September 2014

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the launch of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $15 million 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this program, EDA is soliciting applications for three separate funding opportunities, including: the i6 Challenge, Science and Research Park Development grants, and cluster grants to support the development of Seed Capital Funds.

Did you know...

Number of jobs created as a result of services provided by MBDA business centers during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for New Jobs Created

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