Five regional organizations are collaborating to host an event that will champion diverse suppliers at the corporate level.

The STL Minority Business Development Agency, Women’s Business Development Center, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council and the St. Louis Regional Chamber will partner to host the second annual STL Business Diversity Connect event on Thursday, August 29 at the Marriot St. Louis Grand Hotel, 800 Washington Ave.

“By teaming up with other diverse business development organizations in the region, we are becoming a powerhouse of connections, opportunity and economic growth,” stated Karlos Ramirez, president & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“Diverse suppliers are the future of our economy. If you ignore them, you are missing out on an opportunity to move your company forward.”

Minority-owned businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy with 11 million minority-owned businesses in the U.S. – almost double the number 10 years ago – and a revenue of more than $1.8 trillion annually, according to data compiled by the Business Journals. Yet, recent state, county and city studies continue to show that there is a disparity in contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 61,000 minority-owned businesses in the state of Missouri. By joining efforts to promote these diverse suppliers, corporations are able to diversify their supplier networks and cultivate economic growth for minority, women, veteran and other underrepresented business owners from St. Louis and across the Midwest.

The St. Louis Business Diversity Connect’s focus is to stimulate economic growth and inclusion for diverse businesses in the region. Minorities, Women, Veteran and other underrepresented small businesses are invited to participate.

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