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City celebrates success of minority and women-owned business program

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown held a ceremony at City Hall Wednesday to proclaim this week Minority-and-Women Owned Business week in Buffalo. Events marking the initiative have been taking place over the last four days.“Our focus in my administration is to build a city of opportunity for all people,” said Brown. “Where no one is left out, where no one is left behind and where we see every section of our city growing, thriving and cheering in the tremendous economic development, growth and progress that we’re experiencing in the city of Buffalo.”

The city’s MBE/WBE program, which has been running since 2006, has worked to improve the conditions and successes of minority and women-owned businesses. The opening of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center was noted as a highlight of the intitiative.  

“We are very pleased that the Beverly Gray Business Exchange has opened to focus on the needs of minorities, women and small businesses in our community,” Brown said. “That organization, just in its infancy in terms of being open, is doing a tremendous job.”

Along with being an activist and community leader, Beverly Gray was the first African-American woman to hold office in the City of Buffalo. Royce Woods, Executive Director of the Beverley Gray Business Exchange, voiced his gratitude on behalf of the resource center.

“The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center was really excited about working with our partners surrounded around us here today to provide technical assistance to minority and women businesses,” said Woods. “Helping them start and grow their business as the City of Buffalo grows.”

MBE/WBE week will conclude Friday with a Creating Opportunities for Small Business Conference at SUNY Buffalo State. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Burchfield Penny Art Center.