Courtesy of Eleanor Holmes Norton via Twitter
Courtesy of Eleanor Holmes Norton via Twitter

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will visit several local businesses this week, including a stop Wednesday to Hayat Brown in Southeast, and officials with the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp. will conduct the same venture — all part of Small Business Week, which honors 30 million merchants nationwide.

“This week, we celebrate the pioneering spirit, creativity, and determination upon which America has always been built,” President Donald Trump said in a statement Sunday after he declared May 5-11 as National Small Business Week. “This undaunted conviction drives our entrepreneurs and small business owners whose hard work and perseverance give our Nation economic strength. Their initiative, combined with the greatest workforce in the world, is enabling us to convert the unlimited potential of America into great wealth and prosperity.”

Norton said more than 76,000 small business employ about 47 percent of the workforce in the District.

For instance, Hayat Brown is a minority- and woman-owned engineering firm which handled products such as interchange improvements at I-295 and Malcolm X Avenue, revitalization work on Minnesota Avenue and a feasibility study at Dupont Circle Crown Plaza.

Norton will host a discussion at 11 a.m. Thursday on Capitol Hill about minority-owned businesses. She will also host a Small Business Fair on June 19 with various workshops and help residents learn about starting, maintaining and expanding their business.

The Prince George’s EDC highlights its business visits on social media, including a stop Monday at the Bulldog Group of Beltsville.

According to the company’s website, the minority-owned firm handles truck hauling services, fleet management, construction and other services primarily in the D.C. region. Some of its projects include the Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and the Purple Line light-rail project slated to extend from New Carrollton in Prince George’s to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

Paychex, a payroll and human resources company, rated Maryland last year as the top state in the nation with the highest per capita rate of minority and small businesses. The firm estimated there are 42 minority owners out of every 100,000 residents.

A few weeks ago, the governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs hosted a procurement workshop April 22 in Anne Arundel County. The workshop highlighted business opportunities with state agencies and tips on how to navigate the procurement process, network with vendors and 10 small business resource organizations to provide managerial and financial resources.

“Maryland is open for business and these entrepreneurs have a big impact on the communities they serve,” said Jimmy Rhee, special secretary of the governor’s small business office. “We take the time to showcase some of the local superstars at each event as we move around the state. Their stories are both inspiring and motivational.”

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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