Big Bend MED Week Celebration
By Janelle Floyd
Senior Outlook Writer
The City of Tallahassee, Leon County and the Big Bend Minority Enterprise Development Committee celebrated small and minority businesses during the 23rd Annual Big Bend MED Week.
This year’s theme: “Emerging Markets and Industries: A Blueprint for Success,” aims to provide opportunities for business owners to learn through seminars, workshops and networking.
The week began with the kick-off networking reception at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Tallahassee.
As local business owners mingled, getting to know more about each other, Ben Harris stood to the side and watched.
“Being here to celebrate what small and minority businesses have contributed to the local economy is amazing,” said the chair of the Minority Business Enterprise.
He looked around smiling, realizing all the work the committee did paid off.
“This is a great opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs to get into the business and become profitable and hopefully successful.”
Concluding the reception, the rest of the week stretched out to helpful seminars and workshops for owners.
One of the many seminars, “Preparing Grant Proposals & Obtaining/Maintaining 501cs Status” taught everyone in attendance how to prepare grant proposals, developing budgets, marketing, obtaining and maintaining IRS 501c3 tax exempt status.
Asha Brewer, owner of Simple Fit Health LLC, sat in the front of the classroom taking diligent notes.
“What I am hoping to gain from this is a more formal way to structure my business, Simple Fit. Now we do a lot of things based on donations but I know that having the appropriate grant funds, we can really impact the community in ways that are necessary.”
Ending the full week of workshops and seminars, all were invited to the award recognition luncheon.
The keynote speaker, local attorney and partner of Parks & Crump, Daryl Parks, approached the podium.
“I want to encourage each of you to support other small businesses that you interact with every day,” Parks said.
Parks & Crump Attorneys at Law was honored as the 2015 Reginald L. Rolle Economic Development Champion of the Year.
Seeming to look everyone in the conference room in the eye, he continued, “As I leave you I want to read a great poem that I like to quote in my speeches: “People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, love them anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, be honest and frank anyway.”
Parks paused then finished his speech, “Give the world the best you got and you will get kicked in the teeth, give the world the best you got anyway.”
His speech ended with a standing ovation.