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Minority Businesses Help Drive America's Economic Success - US Department of Commerce

Author: US Department of Commerce

Source: https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2023/10/minority-businesses-help-drive-americas-economic-success

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Minority entrepreneurs make critical contributions to our economy generating nearly $2 trillion in revenue each year.However, an equity gap remains between minority and non-minority-owned businesses.Last week, Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves spoke about the need to close this equity gap at the 40th Annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week.Hosted by Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), MED Week serves as the Federal Government’s annual commemoration of the Nation’s minority business community.It also serves as a reminder to continue to level the playing field for minority-owned businesses, ensuring every American has the chance to build a business and realize their American Dream.During his remarks, Deputy Secretary Don Graves applauded MBDA’s accomplishments over the past year in helping businesses secure over $1.2 billion in capital, over $1.6 billion in both private and government contracts and nearly $300 million in export transactions.“All of this investment will help to drastically change our communities for the better and help ensure that minority, small, and underserved businesses can have an equal opportunity to participate, compete, and thrive not only in America, but in export markets abroad,” he said.This year, MBDA launched the Capital Readiness Program, the Commerce Department’s largest-ever investment in support of underserved entrepreneurs.Through this program, MBDA is investing $125 million to launch 43 business incubators and accelerators designed to help minority and other underserved entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Earlier this year, Vice President Kamala Harris announced awardees for this program.“In order for the Capital Readiness Program to succeed, we need to ensure that minority, small, and underserved businesses can have an equal opportunity to participate,” said Graves.By closing this opportunity gap, an estimated an increase of $6.3 trillion to the U.S.economy, an increase in Minority Business Enterprise’s total paid employees from 9.34 million to 31.16 million, and an increase in the number of U.S.minority-owned firms from 9.7 million to 12.3 million.“The road to America’s economic prosperity runs through our minority business communities,” said Graves.“We must continue to ensure that minority-owned business and the entrepreneurs behind them have the tools, resources, and support they need to not just take part in but drive the economic success of this country.”The launch of the Capital Readiness Program marks a monumental milestone for MBDA, following the Agency’s enactment as a permanent Federal Agency as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.During the week, awards were presented to businesses, organizations, and individuals for exceptional contributions to minority business growth.These awards are the highest national recognition a minority-owned firm can receive from the U.S. Department of Commerce.In addition, MBDA Under Secretary Don Cravins presented Deputy Secretary Graves with the “MBDA Under Secretary Special Recognition Award” for his leadership in supporting the minority business community and his efforts to further the Department of Commerce’s mission to create an economy that works for all Americans.Read President Biden’s MED Week proclamation.

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