The University of Toledo hosted a seminar last week for minority-owned businesses in the area to meet 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, 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 (MBE) 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 work force.”
“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 equal employment opportunity coordinator of the Department of Administrative Services.
Minority Business Assistance Centers are strategically placed across the state to help business owners with certification and any other assistance needed to start or grow a business.
Toledo’s center is housed in the UT Minority Business Development Center.
“We hope the continued focus and growth of the MBE program will allow the Minority Business Assistance Center to help even more businesses in northwest Ohio do business with state agencies and access the capital and bonds needed to grow and expand their business,” said Portia Ash, director of the Toledo Minority Business Assistance Center.