What do churches and black-owned businesses have in common?
"We all live off of faith, hope and charity," Dorothy Edwards Brunson, president of Baltimore-based Brunson Communications Inc. told entrepreneurs attending a luncheon at Morgan State University yesterday to celebrate Minority Enterprise Development Week, which will run Sept. 30 through Oct. 6.
Ms. Brunson's company and other local businesses honored as among the top 10 minority-owned businesses in Baltimore -- from Stop Shop & Save and Parks Sausage Co. to Cross Trash Removal and Miracle Cleaning Services Inc. -- can boast relative success, she observed in her keynote speech.
Still, Ms. Brunson, whose company owns and operates a television station and three radio stations, including Baltimore's WEBB-1360 AM, expressed black entrepreneurs' frustration in finding ample investment capital and other vital resources.
Blacks "have not been able to get into those places where the real dollars are," Ms. Brunson said.
The luncheon, workshops and other activities held yesterday, dubbed "MED Day" by officials at Baltimore's Minority Business Development Center and other minority business consultants, were designed to provide a networking and information exchange forum for regional minority entrepreneurs.
Awards were given to outstanding minority entrepreneurs. Dorothy J. White, president of Miracle Cleaning in Hanover, in Howard County, was named minority small-business person of the year. W.W. Electrical Contracting, with headquarters on Maryland Avenue, was acclaimed as the local business with the best potential for growth.
In addition, former Representative Parren J. Mitchell received a life achievement award in recognition for his work in lobbying for civil and economic rights.
The national MED Week Conference will be held at the Sheraton Washington Hotel.
"Quality Business Partners: America's Minority Entrepreneurs," is the theme of this year's events, which mark the eighth annual observance of MED Week.