COLUMBUS — Minority-owned businesses in the Cleveland area met with state officials and the local minority business assistance center to discuss how minority-owned businesses can obtain business opportunities with the state.
For the first time ever, the state recently announced it exceeded its goal of 15 percent by purchasing 19 percent of all goods and services from certified Minority Business Enterprise businesses. The most recent report shows $228.5 million was spent with minority-owned businesses across the state, up from $165 million in 2014.
“We are extremely excited about this year’s success and we intend to continue the momentum moving forward,” said Kenyatta Chandler, interim chief of the minority business development division at the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By encouraging minority-owned businesses to do work with the state we ultimately grow a more diverse workforce.”
“All minority-owned businesses should know about the MBE program,” said Vanessa M. Rivera, senior manager of Allstate Industrial Inc. “Businesses are always looking for new customers and the state of Ohio is a big customer.”
Every state agency has created a spending plan for 2016 and will continue to include minority-owned businesses for contract opportunities. From IT services to medical service providers to food services, the state needs it all and is looking for minority-owned businesses to provide these goods and services.
“The key to the success of the MBE program is having a strong and diverse pool of talented, MBE-certified businesses that are ready, willing and able to help state agencies meet their program needs,” said Greg Williams, deputy director and state EEO coordinator, Department of Administrative Services.
Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) are strategically placed across the state to help business owners with certification and any other assistance needed to start or grow a business. For a list of centers, click here.
“As our region becomes increasingly diverse, the strength of minority-owned businesses will be a crucial aspect of job and wealth generation in the years to come,” said Darrell Johnson, director of the Cleveland Minority Business Assistance Center. “As we continue to focus and grow the MBE program, we will continue to witness the entrepreneurial successes this initiative will bring to the region.”