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July 01 2006

Operation HOPE Receives the Black Business Association Small Business of the Year Award

More than 500 attendees pay tribute to the struggle of Katrina survivors’ and the recovery efforts at the
32nd Awards Banquet May 18
(Los Angeles) – July 1, 2006.  Operation HOPE was recognized by the Black Business Association (BBA) for their role in providing “economic triage” to hurricane Katrina survivors though Project Restore HOPE, with the Small Business of the Year Award during the 32nd Annual Awards Dinner themed, Surviving Through the Storm at the Downtown Marriot Hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 18. The dinner commemorated the 2006 observance of “National Small Business Week”, and honored corporations, government agencies and individuals that support of the growth and development of the Black Business Association and the African American business community as a whole.
“We derived this year’s theme to acknowledge the tragic outcome that resulted from Hurricanes Katrina & Rita and as an expression of hope, saluting exemplary businesses that know how to economically survive and create a path to guide others through the storm. The BBA salutes Operation HOPE and their efforts to assist the victims of the 2005 storms through its financial preparation and recovery initiative, Project Restore HOPE, said Black Business Association’s legendary CEO and President Earl ‘Skip’ Cooper on presenting the award to Operation HOPE’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant. Cooper continued, “HOPE traveled to areas where and when most people wanted to forget the storm victims ever existed, helping people to recover lost documents, providing insurance claims assistance, mortgage payments deferments, and emergency budget guidance. Operation HOPE exemplifies an organization that not only does well, but does well while doing good.”
Since 1970, the Black Business Association a non-profit organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, has been instrumental in the incubation and development of more than 10,000 African-American businesses. The BBA’s mission is to advocate and promote the development of African-American owned businesses with the goal of creating a solid economic base that supports the self-determination and survival of the African-American and urban community.  More than 75,000 African-American-owned and women and/or minority-owned firms are inter-connected via strategic alliances with more than 500 women and minority trade associations in over 42 states nationwide through BBA.
Bryant remarked on accepting the award, “When Katrina struck last August, Operation HOPE felt compelled to move to action, as we did in 2001 when 911 struck our country. HOPE Coalition America was formed as a division of Operation HOPE in 2001 as a way to help Americans prepare for natural disaster, personal tragedy or national emergency. We continue our efforts for preparedness and recovery through HCA and its initiatives like Project Restore HOPE, which was specifically launched for the storm victims of 2005. We are honored to be recognized by the Black Business Association and hope that we can continue to help and inspire others to help.” The audience was then treated to a video presentation of HOPE’s recovery efforts in the gulf area. 
Also honored during the fete were:
Comerica, The Chairman’s Award
H & R Block, Majority Corporation of the Year Award
NVA Financial Group, Member of the Year Award
Honda, Purchasing Agent Award
California Black Chamber of Commerce, Special Recognition Award
Small Business Administration (Los Angeles District Office), Government Agency of the Year Award