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 

Commerce Lexington is excited to offer the Money Smart for Small Business Program developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These classes provide an introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. The series begins on Monday, February 5 and occurs every Monday for 6 weeks. A different business topic will be covered each week.

The Money Smart Program is taught by Dale Morgan, President and CEO of Foundation47, and offered at no cost to attendees.

Register here


Spring 2024 Opportunity Exchange

Commerce Lexington’s next Opportunity Exchange event presented by Equity Solutions Group on Thursday, March 21, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center (300 E. Third Street) will feature great networking, exchange of ideas, and interaction for minority-owned and small businesses in the Lexington region. The event connects minority business owners with procurement representatives from some of the largest companies in the region.
The featured speaker is Monique Quarterman, Executive Director of KY Innovation, the state’s engine for innovative small business development. Quarterman is a native of Hardin County, Kentucky, and has an extensive background in supporting Kentucky’s entrepreneurs. In 2012, she supported Kentucky’s founders in the Office for Research & Innovation at the University of Louisville. She has been a Business Development Manager at MEMStim, a founder of a Louisville-based innovation consulting practice, and collaborated with the Cabinet for Economic Development and KY Innovation in 2020 as the Executive Director of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures within the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. This distinct background has positioned Quarterman to understand the founders’ mentality and identify how KY Innovation can help.

Register Here