The South Texas Minority Business Opportunity Committee received $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce during a press conference Feb. 2 at The University of Texas-Pan American Annex Complex.
Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, who was instrumental in creating the South Texas MBOC, praised the program for its efforts in providing assistance to minority businesses in the area.
"MBOC is something to celebrate," Hinojosa said. "We have indeed helped a lot of men and women start up their businesses and that adds to the dynamics of the Valley."
MBOC - which is part of the UT Pan American Office of Center Operations and Community Services (CoSERVE) - was created in 1996 "to support minority business development at the local level."
The program has helped many businesses by providing contracting and procurement assistance. The services provided include online contracting, buyer seminar series, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) certification, international trade missions and business plan assistance.
"We are the business development division of UTPA," said Johnny Cisneros, director for MBOC. "The committee is made up of movers and shakers with a mission to assist minority-owned businesses."
Judy Lin Talbert, owner of Greater Valley Office Products in Pharr, has taken advantage of many of the services provided by MBOC. She said MBOC helped her achieve a sales goal of more than $1 million by becoming HUB certified.
"What HUB has done for our company is that is has opened the doors for us to receive more business," Talbert said.
The South Texas MBOC has helped businesses receive more than $19 million in contracts, locally and internationally.
For more information on MBOC, call 956/292-7555 or log on to www.mboc-occ.org