The Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest minority business organization in the state of California held its annual Procurement Exchange Summit and Awards Luncheon Thursday at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel in Los Angeles.
More than 300 African American and minority owned small businesses completing one-on-one matchmaking meetings with contract and procurement representatives from major corporations, utilities, telecommunications, and government agencies including Comerica Bank, South Coast Air Quality Management, Verizon, California Water Association, Kaiser Permanente, Time Warner, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, AT&T, The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal and Turner Construction.
The corporations were all looking to increase the amount of money they spend with minority firms.
The summit also featured two educational workshops SmartTechnology for Smart Businesses,” was presented by AT&T and included a panel of experts discussing how new and smart technology (smart phones, smart advertising and smart access) can help position small businesses to successfully compete in the marketplace. Participants learned how smart phones can allow you to conduct business without being in the office.
The second workshop featured the U.S. Small Business Administration’s national ombudsman, Esther Vassar, who facilitated a discussion on the Small Business Jobs Act and how it will affect small- and minority-owned businesses.
The workshops were followed by an awards program, where the BBA recognized some of the top Black-owned companies in the region, and celebrated the corporate and government partners that have been extraordinarily supportive of African-American businesses. The eight honorees were:
· Business of the Year Award: Peoples Choice Staffing
· Outstanding Entrepreneur Award: Bernie Pichon of Gaff Group
· Outstanding Entrepreneur Award: Elvin Moon of E.W. Moon, Inc. Infrastructure Group
· Legislative Trailblazer Award: California State Senator Curren D. Price, Jr.
· Supplier Capacity Builder Award: Linda Smith of the Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center
· Outstanding Corporation Award: Northrop Grumman Corporation
· Outstanding Community-Based Business Award: Chambers Shine and Shoe Repair
· Special Recognition Award: Assemblymember Steven Bradford
Since 1970, the Black Business Association (BBA), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, has contributed to and supported the development, progress and expansion of more than 15,000 African-American businesses. The Black Business Association’s mission is to advocate for and promote the development of African American-owned businesses with the goal of creating a firm economic base that supports the self-determination and survival of the African-American and urban community. For more information, visit www.bbala.org.