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Commerce Secretary Raimondo Stresses America’s Road to Recovery Runs Through Nation’s Minority Business Community at Annual MED Week Conference

On Monday, September 20, 2021, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo opened the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) annual National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference. In her remarks, she stressed that minority business enterprises (MBE’s) are the engine of the American economy and that America’s Road to recovery runs through the Nation’s minority business community.

This year, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring September 19-25, 2021 as “National Minority Enterprise Development Week.” The National MED Week conference theme: “Reimagining Opportunity: Building Back Better Together!” echoed the President’s vision of economic equality for all Americans and the expanded access to business capital, public contracting, strategic private commercial partnerships, and new market penetration by minority businesses which are inherently necessary to achieve the Administration’s objective.

In her recorded welcoming remarks, Secretary Raimondo noted that MED Week is the Commerce Department’s most important event in support of minority businesses and entrepreneurs. Secretary Raimondo also congratulated the National MED Week award winners and thanked America’s minority business enterprises for their tremendous contributions to the American economy. To date, there are more than 9 million minority-owned firms that employ 8 million workers and contribute $1.7 trillion to the economy.

“President Biden has made clear that our Administration is committed to not just rebuilding to how things were before COVID-19, but to building back better and more equitably. That means doing everything we can to help you and your businesses succeed – because we recognize that America’s Road to recovery runs through our minority business community.”

Also, on Monday, Deputy Secretary Don Graves moderated a panel discussion with Ambassador Susan Rice on, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for the Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” During this session, panelists participated in a dialogue about how the Administration is addressing the convergence of the economic, health, and climate crisis that have exposed and exacerbated inequities for MBEs and underserved communities. 

Deputy Secretary Don Graves and Ambassador Susan Rice at panel discussion.

This year’s conference celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of minority-owned companies, provided networking opportunities, and featured an awards ceremony where individuals and organizations were honored for exceptional commitments and contributions to minority business growth. The MED Week Awards are the highest national recognition a minority-owned firm can receive from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information on this year’s Minority Business Enterprise Development (MED) Week and to view the Secretary recorded remarks and the Deputy Secretary’s panel discussion with Ambassador Susan Rice, please click here.