Good morning! On behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency, thank you for extending this invitation to be here with you today. David, thank you for that warm introduction.
This is my first time meeting many of you – it’s my first time at the AMAA summer conference, and I have to say, coming from a background in middle market, banking and M&A – I’m delighted to be among such distinguished colleagues and business professionals.
It’s been said that the most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” As David said … President Trump appointed me to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency into the 21st Century and ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to help.
In all seriousness, I’m here today to offer an opportunity. For those of you who are unfamiliar with us, MBDA is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competiveness of minority-owned firms, for nearly 50 years.
Our vision is economic prosperity for all Americans, and our mission is to ensure that minority-owned firms can continue to grow, create jobs, and compete in both the domestic and global markets. We do this through our national network of business centers - - and I have here with me Ms. Joann Hill who is our Chief of Office of Business Development seated right here -- It’s through these business centers that we provide our clients with:
- Access to capital -- both traditional and alternative,
- Access to government contracts (federal state or local)
- Access to corporate supply chains with Fortune 500 Companies
- Access to global market opportunities to boost U.S. exports
Over the past 10 years, MBDA’s programs and services have secured more than $40B in contracts and capital for our clients. This helps us achieve the high priorities of this Administration, one of which is to increase the number of minority-owned businesses with annual revenues in excess of $1M. The end goal is to create more great paying American jobs. This is the Association of Mergers and Acquisitions Advisors – and if there’s one thing I know about M&A advisors – each one of you is an entrepreneur by nature. Entrepreneurship is unique to the United States. It’s what’s made this country great. It’s the desire and drive that you have every day to source a deal, like the President says - it’s all about “The Art of the Deal” -- when that deal closes, it creates economic opportunities for so many families.
When you think of it, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the United States is the startup of all startups. I have the privilege today to represent this new administration, as we commit ourselves to creating the business climate necessary for America’s entrepreneurs to thrive. President Trump, Secretary Ross, and I are committed to growing the economy and I see this partnership with AMAA as one of the key relationships to get this done.
Now, it is important to take note that – our country’s demographics are changing. This shift will change the way we do business. For example, and I’ve heard significant discussion around this during the last two days, that Baby Boomers are retiring at an accelerated rate and looking to divest their businesses.
But often overlooked is this fact: By the year 2044, the United States will be a majority minority nation. This means our nation’s majority will be people of color and that means minority-owned businesses will also be on the rise. And this presents a unique opportunity for those in this room who are willing to adapt to capture that opportunity.
Together, these two demographic shifts create a convergence of economic forces that has not existed in the past. It’s the first time in our country’s history.
Now, look around and ask yourselves: “How many of you have done, or will do, a transaction with a minority-owned business?” If the answer is “no”, boy do I have a unique value proposition for you today.
To grow its bottom-line -- you know this already -- a company might consider organic growth strategies to increase its customer base and contracts or, they might consider adopting a franchise model to increase their market share.
Or, a third option, might be to consider the market’s appetite to merge their current business or to acquire a strategic target to expand their portfolio. This third option is where AMAA fits.
And so today, MBDA and the Department of Commerce would like to applaud you for your Market Ready Initiative to ensure these businesses are ready to make that complex transition. By making the astute decision to expand your advisor base, to adapt with the changing market, AMAA positions itself as an even greater resource to its network of members.
This collaborative effort that you’ve put together is similar to MBDA’s approach to working with mid-sized firms as we help them strengthen and expand. As you know, the middle market is particularly valuable. In fact, according to Ohio State University, this is where 1/3 of all private sector GDP growth and job creation comes from. This is a crucial portion of America’s economic development and growth.
Yet, the industry tends to favor businesses at the ends of the spectrum: very small, “mom and pop” shops or massive, multi-billion dollar corporations. The middle market is overlooked, and this is where the Minority Business Development Agency fits.
Why invest in minority firms? Almost 1/3 of all U.S. businesses are minority-owned and that percentage is expected to continue growing. The growth rate of minority businesses over a recent 10-year comparison is quite astounding.
- Their numbers doubled from 3.9 to 8 million.
- They doubled the amount of gross receipts to the U.S. economy from 700 billion to 1.4 trillion.
- And nearly doubled their number of employees.
As the demographic shift continues, THIS is where MBDA and AMAA will find many of our opportunities. One opportunity is clear: The companies we serve are prime candidates for growth through M&A. The question is - Are these businesses and their owners market-ready? Together, AMAA and MBDA can ensure they are. You see, investing in America and putting America first is the foundation of this Administration.
Gone are the days when the United States led from behind. Gone are the days when we accepted weak economic growth as inevitable. Gone are the days when we accepted weak job creation, and gone are the days when we accepted weak leadership as the status quo.
Ladies & gentlemen, 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. We WILL renegotiate unfair trade deals so that our deals benefit Americans, and we WILL eliminate burdensome regulations that stifle the growth of American businesses.
A robust economy is critical to America’s success and this administration will do everything in our power and use every tool at our disposal to stand up for American companies and their workers. You see, our President is committed to being the President for ALL Americans, and that especially includes the vital minority business community.
The President has been crystal clear in his 10 Point Plan that revitalizing America's urban and inner cities is critical to making America great again! We just have to and if we know anything about our President, he’s a straight talker. President Trump has placed a priority on renewing infrastructure, investing in our nation’s defense and homeland security, and bringing manufacturing back to the United States.
Equally, I am proud to stand before you here today -- on this Day -- to voice the President's unwavering, steadfast commitment to the minority business community. Now, 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.
So how do we do that moving forward? Why would AMAA want to partner with a government agency? This is why. The way we have done business in the past will not be the way we do business in the future. This administration is committed to making sure the federal governments works for the people, not the other way around. With this partnership we can and we will make this country great again.
And so today, the U.S. Department of Commerce and MBDA congratulate the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors on this year's successful conference, and we congratulate you on the countless relationships and successful transactions that will result from it.
The United States is entering a new period of economic revitalization. The Department of Commerce is committed to ensuring that American businesses continue to lead the work in economic output. And we at MBDA are proud to stand here with you today on the cusp of this revival. I will be at the MBDA table later on with members of our staff to answer questions and share more with you about our Agency’s mission and how you can become a part of it.
Again, thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to working with you.