Remarks at the Opening of the MBDA Federal Procurement Center

as delivered

MBDA National Director David A. Hinson

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Thank you Bridget for that kind introduction.  Good morning. On behalf of President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the opening of our newest MBDA Business Center – The MBDA Federal Procurement Center

We are fortunate to have several members of congress with us today who have been leaders in supporting job growth through the minority business community….. a community that adds over $1 trillion dollars of economic output to the US Economy and directly and indirectly accounts for over 16 million jobs.

Please give a warm round of applause for: Congressman Chaka Fatah, from Pennsylvania and Congressman Steve Cohen, from Tennessee.  We may be joined a little later by Congressman Bobby Schilling from Illinois and a good friend of MBDA, Congresswoman Judy Chu from California

At this time, I would like to recognize our very important partners: Yvonne Ho, President of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and members of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association. And, before I tell you about the center, I would like all the members of the MBDA team to stand or raise your hand.

Today is a historic day! Today is a historic day not just for the Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration, but for the American people! For decades minority-owned businesses have worked hard to gain access to federal contracts. They have been committed to providing quality products and services to the biggest business in our Nation. But far too often despite their best efforts despite their commitment to the federal sector they were unable to consistently win federal contacts.

Of course some have won federal contracts but not enough and it has been a source of frustration both for the minority business owners who seek federal contracting opportunities and the federal agencies that have tried hard to expand opportunities for minority, woman-owned and small businesses. But today we take a step toward changing this history.

Today, we take a step forward in heeding the President’s call for a level playing field for all businesses where everyone has a fair and equal chance and everyone plays by the same rules. Today, we at the Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency are proud to open the MBDA Federal Procurement Center the first business center of its type in the nation that will assist minority-owned businesses in competing for and winning federal government contracts.

This Center is the direct result of President Obama’s commitment to expanding contracting opportunities for minority businesses. He reaffirmed that commitment when he established the White House Interagency Task Force on Small and Minority Business Contracting less than two years ago. Among other things the task force was charged with finding ways to answer the call from minority entrepreneurs across the nation who felt stifled by the barriers to federal contracting.

And I am proud to say that the people spoke and the Obama Administration has taken action! This center is the Department of Commerce’s contribution to giving you, minority business owners, the opportunities and the tools you need to succeed.Specifically the MBDA Federal Procurement Center will assist you with:

  • Understanding the Federal Procurement Process

  • Identifying Federal Contracting opportunities

  • Developing the skills you need to be a successful federal contractor

  • Providing you with access to the key relationships to enhance your chances of winning!

Finally the MBDA Federal Procurement Center will be your advocate if you feel the system has not treated you fairly! The Commerce Department is the strongest advocate in government for American businesses. Operating as One Commerce, with one voice we are working to support you in creating more jobs. While we have experienced 23 consecutive months of job growth during this Administration we still have a long way to go in providing the jobs our fellow citizens want and need! That is why we are here to eliminate the impediments to government contracting that will allow you to create more jobs!

This MBDA Federal Procurement Center joins a national network of 40 Business Centers around the country. And this business center network has been the source of our performance ---- and if I may brag for a moment for our Department of Commerce employees and business center operators – our performance has been outstanding!

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, we have assisted minority-owned firms in gaining access to nearly $11 billion in contracts and capital, creating over 16,000 new jobs and saving tens of thousands of existing jobs. This is a 101% increase in capital and contracts and a 20% increase in jobs created over the prior three-year period.

Moreover, MBDA has assisted 36% more clients than the prior three year period. Our Return on Investment has gone from 74x when I joined the Agency, to 130x today all during a time of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. We are proud of the fact that during each year of the Obama Administration ---each year-----we have experienced performance increases. There should be no doubt in your mind that this Administration and this President are committed to the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses!

I also have to brag about our friends and teammates from the Small Business Administration! Under the leadership of Karen Mills and Marie Johns, SBA has put an unprecedented $34 billion dollars of capital in the hands of small businesses. This is the highest amount in SBA’s history and stands in sharp contrast to the time -- not so long ago -- when credit was completely frozen for small and medium-sized businesses.

And the number and amount of federal contracts awarded to small businesses have increased three years in a row. With the help of the MBDA Federal Procurement Center we expect minority-owned businesses to have even greater success in the future.

But as you know, success will only come if we work together. 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. Working together we can continue to strengthen the economy and keep the momentum going. Working together we can construct an economy that’s built to last! Thank you and I appreciate your joining us in opening our new MBDA Federal Procurement Center!