On July 8th, Southern California Minority Business Development Council will hold its 25th annual Supplier of the Year awards luncheon. Each year at this time, many of our corporate members recognize minority-owned businesses for providing outstanding goods and services.
These minority enterprises range in size from under a million dollars in gross annual sales to more than a billion dollars. Combined, these companies employ thousands of people of all races, religions and nationalities, and contribute significantly to the economic well being of the communities in which they do business.
At the awards luncheon, many of the entrepreneurs speak movingly about the sacrifices of starting and operating their businesses. They also talk about the immense satisfaction they receive from serving their customers well and providing an opportunity for their employees to make a good life for themselves and their families.
More than once, business owners have spoken about being the first in their family to own their own business or attend college. And, just as often, they speak about family members having arrived from another country, learning a new language, and working tirelessly to realize the American dream.
Of the many minority businesses certified by this council, 34 percent are Latino-owned, 33 percent are Asian American, 24 percent are African American, and the remaining 9 percent are East Asian American and Native American. Many of these business owners may be affected by SB1070, the recently signed anti-immigration bill in Arizona. Under the provisions of this controversial bill, any person, at the discretion of law enforcement, can be asked to provide proof of citizenship -- something not required of everyone.
SCMBDC stands in solidarity with those who believe the federal government should make and enforce immigration policy, not individual states. Our position has been, and always will be, that everyone's rights should be respected.
We strongly believe that without the many immigrants who have arrived on American shores for hundreds of years, whether voluntarily or not and with or without documents, our lives would be less rich and our country and entrepreneurial spirit wouldn't be where it is today. And, we would not once again have the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of many outstanding entrepreneurs at our 2010 Suppliers of the Year awards luncheon.
John W. Murray, Jr.
Editor's note: The National Minority Supplier Development Council announced it will hold its 2010 Conference and Business Opportunity Fair October 24-27 in Miami Beach, Florida. This conference was originally scheduled for the same dates in Phoenix, Arizona. The decision to relocate the conference was made as a result of concerns by NMSDC members and constituents about the impact of Arizona SB 1070. For information about the conference, go to www.nmsdc.org.