Gov. McAuliffe Speaks at Roundtable for Minority-Owned Businesses

Original Article: NBC29

Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke about Virginia’s economy and supporting the role of businesses at a roundtable discussion in Richmond Friday. The governor says he likes what he sees from the latest revenue numbers – McAuliffe sees growth and a strengthening state economy. However, Gov. McAuliffe remains concerned about the possibility of another federal sequestration in the coming months.

“We are in a unique situation in Virginia. We are the number one recipient of Department of Defense dollars,” the governor said. McAuliffe said he recently met with U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at the Pentagon to go over the next scheduled sequestration. “We are now in the days of defense cuts and sequestration, it really has a dramatic impact,” said McAuliffe.

Aside from that dark cloud, he and the other speakers at the MasterCard Minority Business RoundTable touched on the culture of business and how leaders can seek help with funding or guidance.

“No matter where you’re at in your cycle, please always remember to look for a mentor, whoever that may be,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Richmond District Office Director Carl Knoblock. Gov. McAuliffe has been a proponent of women and minority-owned businesses, and many in the crowd at the roundtable fell into that category.

“Met a number of people here, it’s a great opportunity to network and kudos to minority business roundtable for the work they’re doing,” said Water with a Vision CEO Jean Maurilus. Last summer, McAuliffe signed an executive order saying Virginia must make 42 percent of agency contracts with small businesses owned by women and/or minorities. He has said it lifts up those groups and promotes diversity. “It is small business, because that is the backbone of the thousands of men and women who start their own businesses here,” the governor said.

The event also discussed how one of the most common issues a business faces is finding the capital to get off the ground as well as identify what stage of development you’re in.

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