Reps. Evans and Velazquez Host Women Business Owners Roundtable in West Philadelphia to Celebrate National Small Business Week

May 2, 2018
Press Release

Today, in celebration of National Small Business Week Congressman Dwight Evans (Philadelphia and Montgomery County),  Ranking Member on the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access; Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY- 7), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee; and women small business owners and entrepreneurs joined together at The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia for a vibrant roundtable discussion about the ways our small businesses’ can increase access to capital and credit.

Every President since 1963 has recognized National Small Business Week to highlight the countless contributions our small businesses have made on our economy. Communities across the nation will celebrate National Small Business Week from April 30 to May 4, 2018.

“Our small business owners are the true champions of our economy,” said Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), the Ranking Member on the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. “The impact and footprint they have when it comes to investment and economic growth expand far beyond their individual storefronts. I cannot think of a better place to recognize National Small Business Week than The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia which is a more than stellar example of our Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) dollars hard at work. For nearly 30 years, the Enterprise Center has provided much-needed access to capital, opportunity, and other critical resources. The small business owners and entrepreneurs in our neighborhoods nationwide are the heartbeat of our commercial corridors and the true backbone of our local, state and national economy. Just as I have done throughout my entire career I will continue to advocate for all residents in our neighborhoods to ensure they have the access to capital and credit they rely on to start new businesses and invest in their existing businesses in order to grow our economy.”

“Dwight Evans is one of the most thoughtful, passionate advocates for small businesses on our Committee,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee. “I was honored to join him at today’s discussion, which focused on one of the perennial issues facing growing businesses and budding entrepreneurs – access to affordable capital.  This is a particularly challenging area for female entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses.  It is my hope that today’s discussion helps identify tangible solutions we can take back to Washington and implement in future legislation, so more businesses can access financing, grow their operations and, ultimately, create jobs in our communities.” 

The business owners featured during the roundtable included: Della Clark, Chief Executive Officer of the Enterprise Center; Betty Duroseau, Principal of Duroseau Management Services LLC; Ligia Richter, Chugar Bakery; Michelle McDowell, President and CEO of Contract Support Systems, Inc. & JMAR Insurance Agency, Inc.; Patricia Thomas-Laroche, President and CEO of Cameron & Associated 8, LLC – General Construction and Suppliers; Sharon Leaks-Morgan, President and CEO of S & B Organic Cleaning Solutions; and Tiaffany Easley, NV of My Eye Wear.

Earlier this year Congressman Evans joined with Senator Bob Casey to write a letter highlighting their strong support for the continued funding of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the MBDA Business Centers which are critical to the future success of our local entrepreneurs and business owners. The full text of the letter can be found here:


Media Contact: Becca Brukman,