Per the State of Maryland: Governor Wes Moore today delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Maryland Minority Business Counts event at Bowie State University. Event participants engaged with state government agencies and attended educational sessions to learn more about doing business with the state of Maryland as a Minority Business Enterprise program participant.
“If we harness the immense potential and energy in this room and channel it toward achieving our goals, we stand a real chance to fix what’s broken in our economy and build a brighter future for all Marylanders,” said Gov. Moore. “In partnership, we will build an economy that is more inclusive, more dynamic, more innovative, and more competitive—an economy that leaves no one behind.”
Maryland’s Minority Business Enterprise program, now in its 45th year, ensures that socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners are included in the state’s procurement and contracting opportunities. Current regulations set the program’s statewide goal at 29% across 70 participating agencies and departments.
The Moore-Miller administration is working to close the racial wealth gap and promote access to work, wages, and wealth in part through increasing state government’s performance toward reaching its 29% Minority Business Enterprise program participation goal. In February, Governor Moore signed an executive order to promote data reporting and compliance on state agency performance, a first for a Maryland governor.
The administration also advanced regulations through the Board of Public Works that would provide contractual safeguards and protections for Minority Business Enterprise program sub-contractors. State agencies are also now required to submit marketing and outreach plans to the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs that include proactive outreach to Minority Business Enterprises to promote procurement opportunities.
In the coming months, the administration will review the Minority Business Enterprise goal-setting process to ensure that Maryland’s program is a national leader. In the meantime, the administration continues to assess and identify both short-term and long-term strategies to bolster participation in state procurement. The governor will soon appoint a Minority Business Enterprise Ombudsman, who will directly serve Minority Business Enterprises.
To learn more about Maryland’s Minority Business Enterprise program, visit gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov.
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