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 $24.9 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




Money Smart for Small Business 

The winter session of Money Smart for Small Business classes concluded on March 11, after six-weeks of covering financial literacy topics such as Managing Cash Flows, Organizational Types, and Financial Management. With the largest class to date, Money Smart at Commerce Lexington Inc. averaged twenty-seven participants each week, consisting of both aspiring and existing business owners. Twenty-three participants received a certificate of completion, attending four or more classes.  Sessions were taught by Dale Morgan of Foundation47. Participants were also introduced to several of Commerce Lexington’s community partners including Sarah Gaines – Manager, Economic Development, FCPS; Sherita Miller – Minority Business Enterprise Liaison, LFUCG; Marilyn Clark, Economic Inclusion Manager, UK, Davon Joiner, Business Coach – Kentucky’s SBDC, and Andy Jarvis – SVP of Commercial Lending, Community Trust Bank. Councilwoman Denise Gray joined us on the last class to congratulate the participants on their hard work and dedication to attend the classes. We are currently planning our next iteration of classes during the fall months.



Spring 2024 Opportunity Exchange

On March 21, Commerce Lexington’s Community and Minority Business Development team hosted  the Spring Opportunity Exchange at The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Attendees were invited to make connections and network with area purchasing professionals who represent some of the largest companies in the region. Participants also networked with other minority-owned and small businesses in the Lexington Region to exchange ideas. The featured speaker was Monique Quarterman, Executive Director of KY Innovation.



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