Insight News

Feb 11th

Minority business organizations make 2011 the year for change

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The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) and the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) intend to make 2011 “the year for change” to improve the state’s business climate for minority-owned businesses. The two organizations are collaborating for the first time to host a gubernatorial candidate business forum to address issues specific to minority business owners and to learn which of the candidates will make fostering minority-owned business growth a priority.

The MBCC and MMSDC invite business owners, individuals and community members to the two-hour Gubernatorial Candidate Business Forum, Monday, July 26 from 9 – 11 am in the Cowles Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, 301 19th Avenue S., Minneapolis.

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison will offer the keynote address.  The forum is free and open to the public.

“If minority-owned businesses are to survive in Minnesota and have opportunities to advance our technologies, attract and nurture talent and compete in the marketplace, we need effective leadership and policy-making from a governor who understands the challenges minority-owned businesses face,” said Leah Hargett, MBCC president.

Key issues for members of the MBCC and the MMSDC include:
• Establishing and enforcing an all-inclusive, effective process to award contracts to minority business enterprises (MBEs) and women-owned businesses;
• Increasing the access to capital for minority-owned businesses so we can expand and enhance technology
• Leveling playing field to ensure minority-owned businesses have an opportunity to compete in the marketplace;
• Reducing the excessive tax burdens such as health insurance premiums and payroll taxes that can cripple a small business

Gubernatorial candidates slated to attend the event include:
• Bob Carney    (Republican Party)
• Ole Savior      (Republican Party)
• Matt Entenza  (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party)
• Mark Dayton  (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party)
• Rob Hahn       (Independence Party)
• Tom Horner    (Independence Party)

“It’s time we act as a collective group -- African, African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American communities and business owners -- stand together and make our voices heard in our August and November elections,” said Steve Venable, president of the MMSDC, whose organization has a membership base that includes ethnic and minority business owners.

For more information about the forum, please contact the MBCC at (651) 777-9119.

To learn more about each organization and the benefits of a membership, visit the MBCC at, or the MMSDC at


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