The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) presents its sixth annual Minority Business Expo on Tues., May 7, in Jefferson County, West Virginia. The expo provides opportunities for minorities, veterans, and women business owners to network with business and government leaders.
For the first time, the event will be held in Ranson in Jefferson County. The 2019 Minority Business Expo features exhibits, a keynote address from U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian, and a workshop led by West Virginia Secretary of State Andrew "Mac" Warner.
"The expo encourages business development in West Virginia and the inclusion of historically under-represented communities," said Jill Upson, executive director of HHOMA. "Women, veterans, and minorities must be involved in the creation of businesses, licensure process, and participation in the economic development of our great state."
Christian will deliver the keynote address at the Minority Business Expo. Appointed by The White House as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator in 2018, Christian is responsible for a field staff of more than 100 loan, business, and community outreach specialists. Her office oversees the delivery and management of the federal agency's small business programs, financial assistance, and business development initiatives throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Before join the SBA, Christian worked as an attorney in private and non-profit sectors and held the position of principal of her own law firm. She served on the boards of numerous civic and business associations as well as serving on the board of the Pennsylvania Hispanic Bar Association.
Warner will lead a workshop on resources for business owner and entrepreneurs. The West Virginia Secretary of State's Office opened the One Stop Business Portal to provide the state's businesses with one online location where they can find everything they need to register. The One Stop portal streamlines processes related to business registration, filing business taxes, maintaining licenses and permits, and other issues.
Warner served in the U.S. Army in a career that spanned four continents in 23 years. He held a variety of leadership and teaching posts, including staff at the U.S. Army War College and the Chief of International Law for the U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. after retiring, Warner worked s a contractor for the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan for five years. He took office as West Virginia's Secretary of State in 2017.
Expo hours will be from 1-5 p.m. at the Ranson Civic Center located at 432 w. 2nd Avenue in Ranson. Attendance is free. A fee is charged for exhibit booth space, but the fee is waived for state agencies and nonprofits. Attendees and exhibitors must register on line by April 30. For more information, call HHOMA at 304-356-2023 or visit HHOMA@wv.gov