mbi: About Us


The Minority Business Initiative (MBI), developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development in cooperation with its strategic partnerships, is designed to boost access to technical assistance, state, federal and private funding, and public contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses in the state.

By law, there is a Minority Business Initiative Advisory Board to:
(1) advise the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development with regard to increasing the availability of technical assistance, access to capital and access to state contracts to minority-owned businesses; and
(2) develop and administer programs to foster financial literacy, minority employment and entrepreneurship, which may include, but need not be limited to, internship and externship programs, apprenticeship programs, entrepreneurship programs and subsidies to employers for job creation.


DECD takes a multi-pronged approach that includes working with community organizations, media outlets, and other outreach efforts to raise awareness about the many programs and services offered by the state and its partners.   

DECD has partnered with HEDCO Inc. to launch a new a bilingual hotline 1-844-257-9503 that provides program and resource information in English and Spanish, and create targeted marketing materials.

MBI maintains as part of its focus stimulating economic growth in communities with higher unemployment..

HEDCO will administer the minority business financial assistance.


The board is comprised of community leaders, small business owners, and business development professionals, with a range of experience in the following any of the areas: (A) skill, knowledge and experience in business and business development, procurement, and state and federal contracting; (B) skill, knowledge and experience in developing minority-owned businesses; (C) membership or office position in a community organization serving minority populations that has economic development, including, but not limited to, business and entrepreneurial development, as part of its mission; (D) business development education and training expertise; (E) representing a business or organization that primarily engages in business development; or (F) business ownership.

Current members:


Avery Gaddis

Director of Urban Affairs, Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus


Howard Hill

Owner, Howard K. Hill Funeral Services LLC


Roberta Hoskie

President, Outreach Realty Servicing LLC


James Maye

Member, Law Offices of James T. Maye LLC


Doug McCrory

State Senator, Connecticut Senate Democratic Caucus


George Mathanool

Managing Partner, Connecticut Overseas Ventures and Enterprises, Inc. (COVE)


Catherine Smith

Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development


Leonard Webb

Director, Ethnic Online


Samuel Wilson

Member, Samuel Wilson, Jr. CPA



2017 Meeting Dates


September 28, 2017 (minutes to be reviewed by the board at the  December 2017 meeting)

October 30, 2017 (cancelled)

No regular meeting in November (board strategic session, not open to the public)

December 14, 2017



Update 10-13-2017:

The Connecticut General Assembly and the DECD Commissioner appointed members to the new minority business advisory board in accordance with Sections 6 and 7 of Public Act 17-219. See https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/ACT/PA/2017PA-00219-R00SB-00966-PA.htm.


Content Last Modified on 11/6/2017 1:26:22 PM