Government

Ohio Spends Record $228.5M with Minority-Owned Businesses

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COLUMBUS — The state of Ohio has reached the goals of its Minority Business Enterprise program by purchasing a record 19% of eligible goods and services through minority-owned businesses while spending a record $228.5 million.

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

State officials announced the numbers at a press event Thursday.

Out of the eligible expenditures for goods and services purchased during fiscal 2015, a total of 17.21% were set aside for MBE-certified businesses, according to the announcement. Another 2.20% of eligible goods and services were purchased from MBE-certified businesses through open-market contracts, for a total of 19.41%.

Highlights of the 2015 program cited by state officials include:

Ohio spent more money with MBE-certified businesses than ever before.

  • Total expenditures for goods and services in FY 2015 was $228.5 million.
  • This is an increase from $165 million in FY 2014 and from $27 million in FY 2008.

More MBE-certified businesses did work for Ohio than ever before.

  • The state purchased goods or services from 325 MBE-certified businesses in FY 2015.
  • This is an increase from 282 businesses in FY 2014 and 168 in FY 2008.

More state government cabinet agencies met their goal for purchases from MBE-certified businesses than ever before.

  • In FY 2015, 20 of 24 cabinet agencies met the 15% goal for purchases from MBE-certified businesses, up from 17 agencies in FY 2014.

Applications for certifications from minority-owned businesses to be eligible for the MBE program were processed faster and more efficiently than ever before.

  • The MBE-certification process has been reduced to an average of 19 days, with certain applications processed in as few as five days.

The MBE program is administered by the Equal Opportunity Division of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.