On March 12th, Rep. Jake Wheatley hosted an entrepreneurial inclusion summit and business mixer at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The event recognized Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Day. It kicked off with a news conference with Wheatley and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Jordan Harris.
“As the House Finance Committee Democratic chairman, supporting and providing fairness and equal opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses is important to me,” Wheatley said. “Having an open dialogue between business owners, service agencies and legislators is a good way to keep the lines of communication open about how we can provide them with better resources and support.”
The MWDBE program is designed to encourage minority, women and other disadvantaged business owners to bid for and compete in state and local government bidding opportunities.
Harris said, “We believe it’s important for businesses owned by people of color, women and disadvantaged people to have a fair shot at competing for state contracts that their tax dollars fund.”
Additional speakers included Brian A. Hudson Sr., the executive director and CEO of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and Curt Topper, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
Following the news event, participants were invited to attend a networking lunch, and workgroup training facilitated by DGS, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the PHFA and PennDOT.
Four women business owners were recognized on the House floor. They included Karen Denton, owner of KSC Commercial Cleaning Services of the Pittsburgh area; LaToya Johnson-Rainey, owner of A Hair Boutique Shadyside; Sharise Nance, founder of HandinHand Counseling Services; and Simone Quinerly, founder of Quinerly Financial Group, from Pittsburgh.