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      Businesses promote diversity

      Business opportunity meeting at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Tuesday afternoon.

      Boeing, Johnson Controls and Savannah River Site were all on hand at a business opportunity meeting at the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday afternoon.

      The Goal is to increase access to supply contracts for minority owned businesses.

      "A lot of the people here today are governmental contractors," explains Robyn Hamilton of the Carolina Minority Suppliers Development Council. "Obviously, they are going to be directly affected by some of that stimulus funding. Along with that requirement, they are going to be looking for minority-owned suppliers."

      The CMSDC is a Charleston based organization that has been around for over 30 years, but the recent influx of business attention means that the Capital City will probably be seeing much more of them soon.

      "We haven't been in Columbia as often as we'd like to be, but this is the first in a series of meetings we plan to have in the Columbia market," says Hamilton, who goes on to say the meetings are sowing the seeds for massive economic growth in the future.

      "Our corporations are interested in making sure that we're building those minority businesses to be strong tier one and tier two providers of the future," Hamilton adds.

      Developments like this would not only see larger companies moving in and creating jobs, but growth in local business ownership as well.

      In Hamilton's opinion, "It's about shared prosperity. We now realize we have to distribute that wealth, because now that wealth ends up coming back into our economy and supporting those major corporations, so we're being very strategic in how we do that now."