Rangel's Business And Innovation Conference at Lehman College Draws Hundreds
New York, NY – Over two hundred constituents filled the Faculty Dining Room of Lehman College in the Bronx on Thursday, April 4, 2013, to attend the Business and Innovation Conference hosted by Congressman Charles B. Rangel. Along with guest speakers Dr. Rebecca Blank, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and David Hinson, the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Rangel answered questions from constituents regarding the landscape for the business community and the economy.
"President Barack Obama is pushing for initiatives that help business owners and entrepreneurs to succeed as they play an increasingly vital role in our nation's economic recovery," Rangel said. "Dr. Blank and Director Hinson's presence here today serves as a reminder that the government values your contributions to our ability to compete globally and is actively working to help you thrive. Hardworking business owners are the backbone of our economy, which is why I organized this event to give you the tools and resources needed to expand your businesses or start new ones."
"There’s no time like the present for this gathering. We need its necessary focus on our local economy, on job creation and on the ways that government can support business growth," said Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor of The City University of New York (CUNY), as he welcomed Rangel, the guest speakers and event attendees to the Lehman College.
Dr. Rebecca Blank spoke about how we can work together to ensure America remains the global economic leader. She focused on the need to make key investments in innovation, infrastructure, and education in order to keep America competitive. “As a team, we can help more of our businesses innovate, we can build an infrastructure for the 21st century, and we can educate and empower the next generation,” said Deputy Secretary Blank. “If we’re successful – and I’m confident that we will be – the U.S. will remain the global economic leader… and the prosperity of our families and our communities will continue to grow in the years ahead.”
Director David Hinson also reiterated the importance of exploring new markets and technologies as well as engaging Commerce and MBDA to seize these opportunities. "If we are going to keep our economy growing, we need to ensure that opportunities to prosper are open to all the innovative risk-takers and entrepreneurs who are pursuing the American dream. Our MBDA Centers provide you with individualized technical assistance in addition to access to capital, access to contract opportunities and relationships to help you grow your business and build wealth for your families, your community and the nation.”
Following the remarks by Rangel and the ensuing Question and Answer session with Dr. Blank and Director Hinson, John Mallano from the Small Business Administration, William Hill of the Minority Business Development Agency, Rogina Coar-Smith from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Minority and Women Business Enterprises Business Programs, and Madeline Marquez of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation were available to meet in private with constituents and assist them with their individual business concerns.
Participants raised a wide range of issues such as developing effective business plans, new tax credits, tapping into new markets, marketing on tight budgets, and accessing affordable technology solutions.
“We are pleased and honored that Congressman Charles Rangel has reached out to Lehman College to hold this wonderful event,” said the College’s President Ricardo R. Fernández. “Part of Lehman College’s historic mission has always been community service and working to uplift the community we call home, so it is only fitting that Congressman Rangel would hold this wonderful event here on campus.”
"Today, we had the privilege of hearing directly from Dr. Blank and Director Hinson about the various initiatives put forth by the Administration to help businesses and minority enterprises to prosper. We recognize that businesses are the heart of economic development in this great country. I'm proud that New York is ahead of the game in terms of what we should be doing nationally," Rangel stated.
Added Rangel: "I will continue to provide information about the various opportunities available to you and the changes taking place within federal programs that may affect you. We are all one team and must work together."