Leveling the Business Field for Minorities and WomenBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 12 Nov 2010 01:33pm |
Mississippi lawmakers are trying to increase the number of minority and women owned small businesses that get government contracts. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports, a Legislative Joint Study Committee is reviewing Public Contract Procurement, as they try to balance the business power in the state.
In Mississippi it is estimated that only about 2% of minority businesses participate in public contracts.
"I'm a business owner and we want to grow, we want to be recognized. We want there to be fairness we want there to be equitable distribution. And to grow we have to get projects.
there are nearly 40 thousand minority business owners LIKE DeJohnette King in Mississippi, and Study Chairman, Senator John Horhn of Jackson says the balance of power is way off.
"If 51% of the state is women, if another 40% are African Americans including women then were not serving our state well if only 2% of the business is going to those groups. We think this is an economic issue, it’s an issue of how can we grow our economy internally."
The Federal Government requires that public contracts be available to minority and women owned local sub contractors. Committee Co Chairman Representative Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto says the state could create jobs by following the examples of private industries like Mississippi Power
"They took the contract let’s just say on a building program and they broke it down by groups who would clear the area, lay the concrete, put the equipment inside the building and then those that would build the building. That gave more of an opportunity so therefore a large percent of their contract went to Mississippian's and also Mississippi minority."
Senator John Horhn says the Legislative Joint Study Committee is ultimately about economic development for all businesses and could lead to new legislation in 2011 . Lawayne Childrey MPB a News.
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