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State’s only MBDA Business Center celebrates first anniversary

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center kicks off the celebration of its first anniversary at 10 a.m. on Friday (July 19) and its operator – the Memphis Minority Business Council (MMBC) Continuum is signaling success.

The MBDA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs. It does so by "promoting the growth and global competitiveness of minority businesses through access to capital, new markets, contracts and strategic business consulting." The Memphis Business center, located at 158 Madison Ave., Suite 101, was the first in the state.

The MMBC Continuum reports that over the past year (April 2012 to March 31, 2013) the MBDA center had 61 clients that produced $27.7 million dollars in contracts and created and retained 251 jobs.

"The MBDA has allowed The MMBC Continuum to further support the needs of its corporate members, as well as expand the opportunities for MBDA member businesses to bid locally, regionally and nationally," said Luke Yancy III, president & CEO of The MMBC Continuum.

Winston S. Gipson, president Gipson Mechanical Contractors, has said partnering with the MBDA has been "an invaluable and extraordinary experience. The knowledge and professionalism of the staff as well as their commitment to excellence is an asset to our city and state business communities."

Beverly Goines, MBDA Business Center's executive director, credits the support of The MMBC Continuum, and strategic partners – MLGW, Methodist Hospital, EDGE, Memphis Tomorrow and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development and other corporate members.

"Together, we have worked to expand the capabilities and business opportunities of our MBDA clients thereby creating employment opportunities and wealth in the communities we serve," said Goines.

The celebration activities begin with the Continuum Talks Symposium, featuring a presentation about using strategic partnerships to improve business opportunities. Dr. Rajiv Grover, dean of Business and Economics at University of Memphis, will be the guest speaker. Mayor AC Wharton Jr. will ceremonially launch the anniversary. Following the symposium, the MBDA reception will begin (about 11:30 a.m.). It will feature brief presentations from partners that support the efforts of the center.

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