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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference

The following remarks were pre-recorded.

Good morning everyone, and welcome to the 2021 Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference!

MED Week is our Department’s most important event in support of minority businesses and entrepreneurs.

You have an exciting week ahead of you! The MBDA staff has worked hard to put together an amazing lineup − from seminars to networking sessions and training boot camps.

But before we get started, I want to congratulate our National MED Week Award winners for using their extraordinary talents to grow their business, create jobs in their communities, and to make America more globally competitive.  

I also want to thank all of you − our minority business enterprises – for your 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.

You are the engine of America’s economy – which is more important now than ever as we recover from the pandemic.

I know how difficult this year has been for all of you. Since the start of the pandemic, over 400,000 small businesses have closed.

And I know that a paycheck isn’t just about a job – it’s about the dignity that comes with it.

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.

This week you’ll hear more about that from exciting speakers like Ambassador Susan Rice, Deputy Secretary Don Graves, and others.

And at the forefront of advocating for our minority businesses is, of course, MBDA.

They’re working day and night to provide you with the support you need to grow your business and compete – so please stay in close touch with our MBDA staff during and after this conference.

I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this week − and this network.

Explore all the resources that MBDA and the Department of Commerce have to offer.

Learn from experts − and each other.

Thank you again for your participation and welcome to MED Week 2021!

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