During the 123rd National Black Business Conference over the weekend Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed was named Mayor of The Year.
The award was given to Reed as recognition for the economic development that Montgomery has seen under his tenure. The mayor’s office noted that in 2022 Montgomery led the state in economic development and Reed has been deliberate in creating a welcoming environment for Black-owned businesses.
“In everything we do, our goal is to foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Reed said. “This includes working to close the racial wealth gap by ensuring black owned businesses and entrepreneurs have access to the capital, capacity and information necessary to not only sustain, but grow, their operations.”
In a press release from the City of Montgomery celebrating Black Business Month Reed’s contributions to Black business proliferation were mentioned.
“Mayor Reed’s creation of new procurement processes led to a 300-plus percentage increase in Black Owned businesses who participate in City contract process. Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, we have implemented strategies to help black businesses thrive through the “Doing Business with Montgomery” small business initiative and the Heartland Forward Builders and Backers Program. The Black Information Network examined research compiled by NerdWallet.com and Overheard on Conference Calls and listed Montgomery as the second-best city in the nation for Black entrepreneurs to start or own a business. With 28.5 percent of businesses in Montgomery owned by African Americans, Alabama’s Capital City leads all others listed in NerdWallet’s research findings.”
Last month legislators recognized Montgomery for its momentous economic development and job creation. Over the last 15 months the city obtained over 1.7 billion in investments and announced the creation of over 2,000 jobs. Montgomery was also ranked in the Top 10 of the Most Affordable Cities to Buy Home in Forbes Magazine.
Reed also won re-election to his second term as Montgomery mayor last week prior to obtaining his award. Reed won 57 percent of the vote in the contest.
Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].