PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2020
BY SYDNEY LAKE
With the initiation of a swath of bills passed during the most recent Virginia General Assembly session, the bill that creates the Minority Business Commission went into effective Wednesday, July 1.
The Minority Business Commission will provide policy input and operational guidance to the General Assembly with a goal of addressing challenges facing minority business owners. Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature on the budget bill funded and authorized the creation of the commission.
The legislation to create the commission was first introduced as HB 124, patroned by Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, and co-patroned by Dels. Joshua Cole, D-Fredericksburg; Shelly Simonds, D-Newport News; Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington; Clinton Jenkins, D-Suffolk; Kenneth Plum, D-Reston; Glenn Davis, R-Norfolk and Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg.
HB 124 patrons worked with Tiffany Boyle, Newport News commissioner of the revenue, and regional and state leaders in the minority business community to develop the concept and content of the bill. HB 124 didn’t pass, but the provision creating the commission was later added to HB 30 (the budget bill), which eventually passed, says Marcus A. Calabrese, public information officer for Boyle’s office.
Participating organizations and representatives in the commission include:
- Virginia Beach Minority Business Council
- Richmond Minority Business Office
- Virginia Asian American Chamber of Commerce
- Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce
- Richmond NAACP
- York-Jamestown-Williamsburg NAACP
- Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue Office
- Portsmouth Commissioner of the Revenue Office
- Councilman Benny Zhang
- Former Councilwoman Shannon Kane
“What began as a conversation has become a commission which will take the best practices and lessons learned from the participating organizations and our supporting legislators,” Boyle said in a statement.
Appointments to the Minority Business Commission have not yet been made, but Speaker of the House Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, will be the one to make the appointments, says Calabrese.