PROCLAMATION: Minority Enterprise Development Week, 2000
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                             August 24, 2000


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                              A PROCLAMATION

     Today, America is enjoying the longest economic expansion in our
history, with 22 million new jobs created since my Administration took
office in 1993 and the lowest unemployment and inflation rates in more than
30 years.  The American people are looking to the future with renewed hope
and optimism, eager to embrace the exciting opportunities and meet the new
challenges of a dynamic and evolving global marketplace.

     If we are to extend this remarkable period of growth and sustain our
leadership of the world economy, we must use this time of extraordinary
prosperity to ensure that every citizen of our Nation plays a role in our
economic growth and benefits from its rewards.  One of the surest means of
achieving that goal is to promote the full inclusion of minority
enterprises in the mainstream of our economy.

     My Administration has encouraged the growth and success of minority
businesses by ensuring their participation in Government procurement;
introducing the New Markets Initiative to bring jobs and capital to
America's underserved communities; and strengthening the Community
Reinvestment Act.  Over the last 8 years, the Small Business Administration
has guaranteed $18 billion in loans to more than 80,000 minority-owned
firms.  And the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development
Agency (MBA) has assisted more than 430,000 minority-owned businesses with
start-up and expansion financing.  At Minority Business Development Centers
across the country, the MBA also assists minority clients by providing a
variety of business services, including the preparation of business plans,
market research and development, financial counseling, and bid preparation.

     All Americans stand to benefit from the success of our minority
entrepreneurs.  With energy and determination, these hardworking men and
women create jobs, attract investment,
bolster pride, and generate revenue in communities across our Nation.
People of different races, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, people
with disabilities -- all have skills, new ideas, and fresh perspectives to
bring to the marketplace.  Minority entrepreneurs have unique contributions
to make to our economy and the talent and imagination to produce goods and
services that meet the needs of their fellow Americans and of consumers
around the world.

     The unprecedented strength of America's free enterprise system
demonstrates that when people have access to the tools and opportunities
they need, there is no limit to what they can achieve.  During Minority
Enterprise Development Week, let us reaffirm our national commitment to
equality in the economic as well as the civic life of our Nation by
providing minority entrepreneurs around the country with an equal
opportunity to use their abilities, creativity, and motivation to move our
Nation forward.  By doing so, we will help preserve America's leadership in
the global economy.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 24 through
September 30, 2000, as Minority Enterprise Development Week.  I call on all
Americans to join together with minority entrepreneurs across the country
in appropriate observances.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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