State continues to increase business with minority companies

COLUMBUS – The State of Ohio conducted $305 million in business with minority companies in fiscal year 2019, according to Ohio Department of Administrative Services Director Matt Damschroder.

That represents nearly 23 percent of the $1.35 billion in eligible expenditure for fiscal year 2019.

“Gov. (Mike) DeWine continues making the growth and development of minority businesses a priority,” Damschroder said. “Through the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, we are always looking to build capacity with vendors to provide goods and services to state agencies.”

Ohio’s MBE program, established in 1980, mandates that state agencies set aside 15 percent of annual purchases for goods and services from certified minority-owned businesses.

The fiscal year 2019 numbers represent goods and services purchased from opportunities set aside for MBE-certified businesses, as well as instances where MBE-certified businesses won open-market contracts. Of the $1.35 billion in eligible expenditures, 19.25 percent went to set-aside opportunities, and an additional 3.42 percent were selected through open-market contracts.

State purchases from minority businesses increased over the last fiscal year when $268.6 million of $1.24 billion in eligible expenditures went to MBEs. That included 18.86 percent through set-aside opportunities and 2.78 percent through open-market opportunities, for a total of 21.63 percent in MBE expenditures.

Businesses wishing to become MBE-certified can apply by contacting DAS’ Equal Opportunity Division, which oversees several programs that help ensure equal opportunity access to and fair treatment in government contracting. Those include programs for minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

Individuals can visit the Department of Administrative Services Equal Opportunity Division website for additional information.