MBDA Pandemic Recovery Center
MBDA Pandemic Recovery Center’s mission is to assist Houston’s minority business community in recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, ensuring equity for minority entrepreneurs by advancing business opportunities and building stronger, more resilient minority businesses.
The Pandemic Recovery Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce through MBDA, offers no-cost educational training and resources to start, grow and scale a business in this post-pandemic world. One-on-one business advising is available, as well as a comprehensive menu of business resources in various areas of business, including:
- Financial consulting
- Access to Government Assistance Programs
- Credit counseling
- Digital marketing training
- Technical training for businesses
- Business planning
- Leadership training
- Gaining access to capital
- Gaining access to contracts and new market expansion
- Obtaining certifications
To receive business advising services, please complete the registration form linked below.
Pandemic Recovery Center Staff
April Felton, Program Director
April Felton is Program Director for Houston MBDA and HCC's Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives Pandemic Recovery Center where she supports both institution’s proud traditions of developing educational initiatives to build and sustain the Houston minority business community. As Program Director, she provides the strategic and organizational program direction in assisting the minority business community in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
April’s dedication to entrepreneurship, higher education and public service has led to her current roles as founder of Immaculate Concepts, a lifestyle management and concierge brand, business adjunct instructor at San Jacinto College and as a licensed Texas real estate agent.
Her background also includes serving as Director of Administration to Harris County, Precinct One's Commissioner, where she led the strategic direction of administrative functions for the Executive Division. Earlier, she was Manager of Suite Sales and Development for the Houston Rockets and Toyota Center. In that role, she led the department’s strategic sales plans, marketing and high-dollar account acquisition. During her tenure, she set a historic NBA record for full-season ticket memberships sold and the creatives from her sales and marketing initiatives generated record-breaking suite rental sales.
She holds a Master of Business Administration from Texas Southern University, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston, and a Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University.
Christina Cornelius, Business Advisor
Christina Danielle Cornelius began her consulting journey in her senior year in the Illinois Business Consulting program. Since she has helped numerous entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. It is a passion that has been instilled in her throughout her life. Her mother and four of her aunts are all entrepreneurs. Christina has consulted each of them throughout the years. Her professional career includes financial services, non-profit management, and economic development. In 2014, she started a non-profit to assist women business owners, Women Exceeding, and a marketing consulting practice, WE Ventures in 2021.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Certificate in General Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Weltonia Harris, Business Advisor
Weltonia Harris is a long-time resident of Houston, Texas and an original native of Minden, Louisiana. She has 15 combined years of experience in television production and broadcasting at Houston Public Media and Fox Sports Net, with subsequent time spent supporting a variety of corporations with business management, patient accounting, retail management and more. More recently, Weltonia has taken her varied experiences and combined them to follow her passion for supporting small business owners and burgeoning entrepreneurs. She holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and is the founder of Wel Tee Harris, LLC, where she provides virtual administrative support solutions, bookkeeping, accounting software implementation and training, for field service management companies and other service-based businesses. She is the proud mother of one daughter, Bianca, who is VP of Growth for a Series A-funded, tech-startup company.
Kim Vera, Office Manager
Kim Vera is the Office Manager for the MBDA Pandemic Recovery Center and has a bachelor's in English and a minor in Advertising from the University of Houston. She began her career as a copywriter and later transitioned to event coordinating for local museums. With eight years of event planning, she is eager to aid small businesses across the city of Houston and help make a difference in her community with the help of MBDA and HCC.