STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE AGENCIES should aim to spend $18 million with LGBT-owned businesses and $18 million with disability-owned businesses in the new fiscal year that starts Saturday, Gov. Maura Healey announced on the final day of Pride Month.
The Supplier Diversity Office began recognizing those business certification categories in 2015 without setting spending benchmarks. But Healey’s office on Friday outlined the new goals for LGBTQ- and disability-owned businesses in a bid to expand diverse contracting opportunities for state agencies and local governments.
“Massachusetts is home to so many wonderful diverse and small businesses who are truly the backbone of our communities and our economy,” Healey said in a statement Friday. “Our administration is committed to increasing opportunities for them to do business with the state, which will not only help their businesses grow but will also support the state’s equitable economic development.”
Healey is the nation’s first openly gay elected governor.
Based on the latest data, state agencies will need to ramp up their contracting by millions of dollars to reach the administration’s goals.
Massachusetts spent about $3.26 billion with diverse and small businesses in fiscal 2022, a 15 percent increase over the prior year, according to a report from the Supplier Diversity Office. That includes about $15.1 million on disability-owned businesses and $9.7 million on LGBT-owned businesses.
There were 85 disability-owned businesses and 375 LGBT-owned businesses in the Supplier Diversity Office’s directory last year, according to the report. That compares to 1,717 minority-owned businesses, 2,455 women-owned businesses, 186 veteran-owned businesses and 223 service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses.
A new dashboard called the Massachusetts Certified Business Map will help state agencies and municipalities identify potential diverse business partners, the Healey administration also announced Friday. Users can search by certification type and geographic location, among other criteria.
“The LGBTQ+ community has long been a contributing important part of the Commonwealth’s economy,” Grace Moreno, executive director of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement shared by Healey’s office. “We look forward to working with the Healey-Driscoll administration to make the state’s procurement of goods and services more fair and equitable.”