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State's first Minority Business Commission created to help address disparities

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Posted at 7:03 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 22:33:57-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Virginia is now set to have its first state sanctioned Minority Business Commission under Governor Northam's newly signed budget.

The Minority Business Commission will provide policy input and guidance to Virginia's General Assembly and other local governments throughout the state to address the challenges and opportunities that can help or hinder minority business owners.

The organization is the first of its kind in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The creation of the Minority Business Commission comes at a crucial time as many minority businesses have reported to be unable to take advantage of relief packages due to their lack or resources, staffing, or access to the information.

The first proposal for the commission was recognized in this years session as House Bill 124 with Delegate Jason Miyares as the original patron and the first Latino American in the country to propose legislation of this kind.

To create the concept of the organization, there were a series of collaborative meetings, initiated by Tiffany Boyle, Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue, held with regional and state leaders in the minority business community.

Those in the meeting included, Virginia Beach Minority Business Council, Richmond Minority Business Office, Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, Richmond NAACP, York-Jamestown-Williamsburg NAACP, Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue Office, Portsmouth Commissioner of the Revenue Office, Councilman Benny Zhang, and former Councilwoman Shannon Kane

"What began as a conversation has become a commission which will take the best practices and lessons learned from the participating organizations and our supporting legislators," said Boyle.

For more information and resources, contact Marcus Calabrese by email at calabresema@nnva.gov or by phone at 757-663-8720.

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