***MEDIA ADVISORY***

TODAY/MONDAY: Cardin to Chair Senate Small Business Committee Field Hearing at Bowie State University

Field Hearing to Address Access to Capital for Minority Small Businesses

TODAY/Monday, March 16 at 10:00, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, will chair a field hearing exploring the successes and challenges of programs designed to support minority small businesses gain access to capital. There are nearly six million minority-owned businesses in the United States. These businesses generate more than $1 trillion in receipts and support almost 6 million jobs. But minorities make up just 22% of American businesses, despite representing more than 35% of the population. This achievement gap results in part from the significant obstacles that minority business owners face in accessing capital.

Access to capital is essential for growth. However, the reality is that minority-owned businesses are two to three times more likely to be denied credit, more likely to avoid applying for loans based on the belief that they will be turned down, and more likely to receive smaller loans and pay higher interest rates on the loans that they do receive.

“Minority-owned businesses still face discrimination in the small business credit market, and still have trouble getting their fair share of government contracts,” said Senator Cardin. “This hearing will look at ways we can close the wealth gap so that minority businesses can create more jobs and invest in their communities.”

WHAT:            U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Hearing –

“Minority Access to Capital”

WHEN:            Monday, March 16, 2015 at 10:00AM

WHERE:           Bowie State University Student Center – Wiseman Ballroom

14000 Jericho Park Road

Bowie, MD  20715

WITNESSES:
Ms.  Alejandra Y. Castillo

National Director

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

U.S. Department of Commerce

Washington, DC

Mr. Antonio Doss

District Director Washington Metropolitan Area

U.S. Small Business Administration

Washington, DC

Ms. Shelly Gross-Wade

President & CEO

FSC First

Largo, MD

Mr. Carl L. Hairston

Administrative Vice President

M&T Bank

National Capital Business & Professional Banking Regional Manager

Washington, DC

Mr. Stanley W. Tucker

President and CEO

Meridian Management Group, Inc.

Baltimore, MD