Minority Business Owners Hear How State Can Help

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A few dozen leaders of minority-owned businesses met with state officials Wednesday at the Covelli Centre to discuss how their companies can grow by taking advantage of state contract opportunities and access to capital.

Ohio purchased nearly 24% of all goods and services last year from companies certified as a Minority Business Enterprise, exceeding the state’s goal by 15%, reported Jeffrey L. Johnson, chief of the Minority Development Division at the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Johnson cited what he described as the most recent report, which shows nearly $298 million was spent with minority-owned businesses across the state, up from $228.5 million in 2015.

“Our momentum is strong and we will continue to help develop and grow Ohio small, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses,” he said.

Among the state resources available to minority-owned businesses are programs to improve manufacturing processes and increase the exporting of goods and services. In addition, local Minority Business Assistance Centers operate across the state.

“Our program provides little to no-cost services to Ohio minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Cleveland Burton, director of the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Warren Youngstown Urban League. “Through our services, we help small businesses develop and grow.”

Pictured: Cleveland Burton addresses the meeting.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.