Northam seeking to expand opportunities for businesses owned by women, minorities, disabled veterans

Ralph Northam_632340

AP Photo/Steve Helber

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at expanding opportunities for businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans.

Northam announced the executive order at Norfolk State University Wednesday morning.

A news release from Northam’s office said the governor’s order has set a target of procuring 42% of discretionary spending from certified small businesses.

Northam said in a statement, “Small businesses are a vital economic engine for Virginia, making up 97 percent of all businesses, but we know there is work to do to ensure they have equal opportunity to grow and succeed in our Commonwealth.”

The executive order is calling for an updated study on whether there is disparity in the marketplace regarding contracting with businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans.

Previous studies done in 2004 and 2011 found that 1.27 percent (2004) and 2.82 percent (2011) of total state contracts were awarded to these businesses.

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