WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has honored two Indian American businessmen in recognition of their contributions to the U.S. economy during Minority Enterprise Development Week.

Trump Oct. 24 felicitated Sharad Thakkar and Karan Arora along with seven other owners of minority businesses in the Oval Office of the White House.

Thakkar is the president of Polymer Technologies, which is the recipient of the Minority Energy Company of the Year.

Based out of Ohio, Polymer Technologies works with the plastic industry to transform their throwaway scrap plastic into valuable raw material.

PTS has a proven track record of providing long-term solutions in automotive, home care and lawn care product lines.

Based out of Florida, Arora is the director of family-owned Natural Vitamin Labs, which is the recipient of the Minority Export Firm of the Year award.

With 25 years of experience in supplying natural health products to industry partners worldwide, NVL operates from a 95,000-square-foot facility in Miami, Fla.

The facility is equipped with a manufacturing practices system and fully automated packaging machinery that allows precision and error minimization, resulting in high speed production.

A night earlier, on Oct. 23, Thakkar and Arora received their respective awards from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at an event in Detroit.

Both Thakkar and Arora came to the U.S. as students for further studies and earned the pathway to citizenship through an H-1B visa and later obtained their Green Cards.

Arora said Trump's policies are reviving America's manufacturing base. The simplification of the tax code would come as a great boon for small family-owned businesses like him.

“There is a big demand (globally) for U.S.-made products, which have more value anywhere in the world,” Arora told PTI.

Indian Americans are making great contributions to the U.S. economy, said Thakkar. Originally from Baroda, he came to the United States some 30 years ago.

“I am very proud that this country gave me this opportunity,” he said.

Arora moved to the U.S. in 2000 for undergraduate studies from Mumbai.

“The opportunities that we had have been fantastic, tremendous,” he said.

During his interaction with Thakkar and Arora along with other awardees inside the Oval Office, Trump “congratulated all of us” and said he is “proud” of minority businesses and their contribution in creating jobs in the country.

Praising Trump's new policies, Arora said businessmen like him need to spend more time on “business planning rather than tax planning.”

Simplifying the tax code would definitely help the minority businesses, he said.

“The tax reform, would not only simplify the process, but also put more money into businesses,” Thakkar told PTI.

In his remarks, Trump said his administration is deeply committed to empowering minority business owners.

“We're working to lift government barriers so that you can thrive, prosper and grow,” he said.

Ross said nationwide, there are 996,246 minority-owned firms with paid employees last year, up 4.9 percent from the prior year. And these minority-owned businesses produced $1.1 trillion of annual revenue. They employ 8 million people, but only 22 percent of them have 10 or more employees, he said.

“So there's plenty of room to grow. But we know that minority entrepreneurs are up to the task,” he said.

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