January 3, 2005

County Takes Lead in Regional Minority Business Program

The theme for the county’s First Annual Minority Enterprise (MED) Day last fall was “Achieving Success Through Contracting & Financial Partnerships.” The event is an initiative of the National Capital Minority Business Opportunity Committee (NCMBOC).

Hosted by County Executive Jack Johnson, the power breakfast networking event attracted 300 participants from state, local, and federal government, private sector corporations, lending institutions and a wide range of minority businesses.

The National Capital Minority Business Opportunity Committee is operated by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) with a grant from the US Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

The county’s MED Day followed MDBA’s National MED Week conference at which NCMBOC was recognized as one of the top performers in the program, and for outstanding achievement in support of the national program. NCMBOC Has been invited to participate in the program for a third year.

On MED Day, Commerce Department officials, Ms. Chiling Tong, Associate Director for Legislation, Education, and Intergovernmental Affairs and Mr. Heyward Davenport, New York Regional Director, talked about historical and current-day barriers that have deterred minority businesses, and what the future will bring as America’s economic strength is increasingly centered on the success of small and minority businesses.

Ralph C. Thomas III, Assistant Administrator, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), gave the keynote address and talked about procurement opportunities at NASA, and potential contracting opportunities at NASA’s Greenbelt, Maryland facility.

Awards highlighted minority businesses that had participated in the regional program, and which were recipients of either contracts or loans that enabled them to expand their businesses. Others were reorganized for advocating on behalf of NCMBOC’s mission – “Facilitating the growth of the region’s minority businesses.”

Necola Shaw, the programs manager since its inception, is certain the Committee will continue to do well. “All of the strategic partners in the county are collaborating and pooling resources to ensure that minority businesses benefit from our program activity. It’s a winning combination.”

NCMBOC is preparing for next year’s Business Expo scheduled for October 6, 2005.


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