MCC client Rachel Pate receives SBA award

June 27, 2024

Rachel Pate, Vice President of Economic Development at the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and client of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at McLennan Community College (MCC), was honored as the Small Business Administration (SBA) District Minority Small Business Champion of the Year.

Pate, a Waco native and former MCC student, has served in numerous roles with the Chamber since 2016 and was instrumental in founding the Cen-Tex Minority Business Equity Fund, exclusively created to support businesses of color that suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also initiated funding discussions for the City of Waco's initial Small Business Relief Plan, the ‘We All Win’ Small Business Relief Package, and federal/SBA funding available to businesses following 2020.

“Rachel has diligently served minority businesses for the past seven years as an engaged community member and Chamber executive,” Thomas Ellis, SBDC’s Project Director said. “She has championed the causes of underserved citizens and businesses in Waco through her passion for public advocacy, tireless tenacity, and strategic action with the Chamber. Her organization has greatly benefited from her strong community roots, ease with people, and desire to see lasting equitable solutions in Waco and beyond.”

For more information about the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, visit For more information about the MCC Small Business Development Center, visit