Commerce Lexington Inc.’s Minority Business Development (MBD) program strives to promote and sustain the economic growth, development and self-sufficiency of minority business owners and entrepreneurs; recruit minority-owned businesses into the seven-county Lexington MSA and Commerce Lexington, Inc.; and provide business referral services to the appropriate minority business assistance agencies. For the most up-to-date listings of minority and women-owned businesses in the Lexington area, please contact Tyrone Tyra at 859-226-1625.


A minority business enterprise, as defined by Commerce Lexington Inc., is a business that is 51-percent owned, operated, and controlled by a person who is a member of the following racial and ethnic groups:

African American (An individual of African culture, origin or parentage)

Hispanic American (An individual of Latin American culture, origin or parentage)

Asian American (An individual of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Indochinan, Malaysian, Fillipino, native Hawaiian or other Pacific island culture, origin or parentage)


MBD implements a variety of actions to promote the growth of minority businesses, such as:

  • Fostering strategic partnerships between majority companies and minority-owned small businesses.
  • Assisting in the acceleration of establishing and expanding businesses through Commerce Lexington’s Access Loan Program, which has approved over $20 million in loans since its inception in 2001.
  • Working with existing organizations to develop strategies to grow the number of MBEs in Central Kentucky. CLX-Urban League Economic Inclusion Plan
  • Hosting seminars and workshops throughout the year.
  • Publishing a Minority Business Directory – the only one of its kind in the Bluegrass, which helps companies meet their minority vendor usage goals.
  • Providing a forum for an exchange of ideas at its Economic Roundtable discussions.
  • Arranging network opportunities at Opportunity Exchange Receptions and the Minority Business Trade Show.
  • Enhancing the visibility of Commerce Lexington’s minority members through its annual Minority Business of the Year Award program.


Commerce Lexington Inc.’s Racial Equity Pledge challenges the region’s business community to build a more inclusive economy based on equal opportunity and advancing racial equity. By signing this pledge, we commit to pursuing inclusivity and equality for underrepresented and marginalized community groups and agree to increase efforts and transparency around conscious efforts to attack poverty, narrow the racial wealth gap, and increase equity for area residents.

We recognize that living up to this pledge requires a necessary and comprehensive overhaul of the status quo, however, we are ready to seize the opportunity to create sustainable solutions over a multi-year horizon that will position Commerce Lexington Inc. as a leader in this work.

Signing this pledge is an agreement to pursue change intentionally and consistently within our business and the broader community. As business leaders, our time in history is now and our action matters, now more than ever. We pledge to make a difference by working toward minority business economic inclusion and actively supporting underrepresented and marginalized businesses and talent.

If your organization is interested in signing the Commerce Lexington Inc. Racial Equity Pledge, please contact Tyrone Tyra at


Minority Owned Construction Company Elaine Allen partners with Dean Builds for Town Branch Park Project

Two Lexington based construction companies will partner together on the Town Branch Park Project located between Oliver Lewis Way and the new Lexington Center. Expect a green oasis, active space, and walking trails that connect throughout downtown Lexington.  In a quote to ABC 36 WTVQ, Bishop Carter IV, owner of Elaine Allen, states, “Representation matters on every level of this project, which is why we were glad to team up with Dean Builds to bring a diverse perspective and expertise into the construction phase of this development for Lexington.  (December 2021)

2021 Minority Business Award

Commerce Lexington’s Salute to Small Business was held September 24th at the newly constructed Central Bank Center. Our presenting Sponsor was Forcht Bank. Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Minority Business Award, Raquel Carter, owner of Guide Realty. Guide Realty opened its doors in January 2008 with a vision of a small, family-owned, boutique-style real estate office. Today, Carter leads a team of 25 realtors, plus three full-time and two part-time administrative staffers. Recently, they opened a newly renovated, 5,000-square foot facility that contains a professional development and community engagement space called The Compass Center.

Commerce Lexington Economic Development Adds New Team Member
Falon McFarland joined the economic development team as Administrative Project Coordinator in July. Falon recently moved to Lexington with her husband and three children. She is a graduate of Grambling State University with dual bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Computer Information Systems. She recently completed her MBA with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Texas at Tyler. Falon’s background is in the telecommunications industry. She is excited to start her new journey with Commerce Lexington, as she learns more about the awesome city of Lexington. Falon enjoys watching boxing with her husband and spending time outdoors with her children.

2020 Minority Business of the Year – Elaine Allen, LLC

Opportunity Exchange