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Remarks by Acting National Director Chris Garcia at the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s CelebrASIAN 2017 Procurement Conference


Good Afternoon, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency, I thank you for extending this invitation to be here with you today.  I’m originally from California and can say first-hand that it is one of the best hubs for game-changing innovation, disruptive technology and fresh ideas. Young entrepreneurs have been essential to this growth and progress and as an entrepreneur myself, I’m honored today to help celebrate your accomplishments.

I arrived at MBDA earlier this month and I’m excited to have this opportunity to meet our strategic partners, friends, stakeholders and minority business enterprises. Thank you for giving me such a warm welcome and for sharing your insights and resources.

MBDA is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and sustainability of minority-owned firms. Our mission is to ensure that minority-owned businesses are able to continue to grow, create jobs, and compete in both the domestic and global markets. We do this through our national network of business centers where we position minority-owned companies to perform in high-growth industries, emerging markets and corporate supply chains. MBDA helps secure an annual average of $5.4 billion worth of contracts and financial investments into minority-owned firms, increasing the number of businesses with revenues that exceed $1M and in turn create jobs for Americans.

MBDA’s investment doesn’t just stop with advancing minority firms.  We are also a valuable asset to the Federal Government. For every federal $1 spent, MBDA earns one of the highest returns for business assistance programs in the Federal Government. Over the past 10 years, MBDA’s programs and services have secured more than $40 billion in contracts and capital, with accelerated performance averages and returns on investment.

Now, Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses command a strong presence in America's economy. According to the latest Survey of Business Owners conducted by the Census Bureau, we know there are 1.9 million Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses that employ 3.6 million people and generate close to $700 billion in annual revenue.

That is not only significant for the AAPI community, but it’s also important for our Nation. 

Successful minority-owned firms create more U.S. jobs, but they do far more. They also stimulate economic activity in local communities, which increases the use of local assets, such as transportation, infrastructure, housing and quality education. That impacts communities not just here in California, but across our nation.  Entrepreneurs are a vital component to that success. Entrepreneurs are the backbone, the life blood of the U.S. economy. As entrepreneurs, you not only support the strength and stability of the American economy today, you help create more American jobs.

Investing in America and putting America first is the foundation of this Administration. In fact, President Trump’s promise to the American people is loud and clear, we WILL create 25 million new American jobs in the next decade and we WILL return to consistent, 3 percent annual GDP growth.

The President is committed to being the President for ALL Americans, and that especially the vital minority business community. In his 10 point plan the President states that revitalizing America's urban and inner cities is critical to making America great again. I stand before you here today, to voice the President's unwavering, steadfast commitment to the minority business community. You see, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the United States is the startup of all startups. And President Trump is dedicated to creating the business climate necessary for entrepreneurs to thrive. Looking forward, I invite you to recalibrate and understand the unique opportunity we have ahead of us. 

None of this would be possible without the power of partnership. By working together, we are able to make this nation great for every American and ensure equal access to capital, contracts and markets. The way we've done business in the past will not be the way we do business in the future. I come from a different generation, but I stand on the shoulders of those who have led before me. My generation is ready to build on the success of previous leaders and continue to foster an environment that allows minority businesses to grow and thrive. With your input we can make this country great again. 

MBDA congratulates the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce on this year's successful conference. Susan Au Allen and her team have done an outstanding job of bringing people and opportunities together. Once again, you've simply out done yourself.  We are proud to be here with you to continue our shared commitment to support Asian American and Minority Businesses. Congratulations also to the outstanding "Fast 100 Asian American Businesses" -- you represent some of America's best firms and you help drive the future growth of the U.S. economy. Keep doing what you are doing. 

MBDA values its relationship with USPAACC and we wish Susan and her team continued success. We look forward to working with you in the years to come. 

Thank you.