Gov. Cooper signs order to help minority biz contractors

Gov. Cooper signs order to help minority biz contractors
November 09
05:00 2017

Keeping yet another campaign promise from his 2016 candidacy, Gov. Roy Cooper last week issued and signed Executive Order #25 “… to create jobs and expand economic opportunity for historically underutilized businesses in North Carolina.”

The governor also used the Nov. 2 occasion to announce members of his new Governor’s Advisory Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses, with appointments from the Triangle to the Piedmont, and beyond.

“Diverse businesses are engines for our economy and we need to encourage their growth and development,” Governor Cooper said. “We have minority business owners to thank for creating thousands of new jobs in communities both urban and rural, and we must nurture their success.”

Governor Cooper had proclaimed October, “Minority Enterprise Development Month,” paying tribute to businesses, corporations and financial institutions owned and operated by people of color and women statewide, for their contributions and achievements in the face of daunting odds and barriers.

According to the U.S. Departmentof Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, there are approximately 183,000 businesses owned and operated by people of color and women across North Carolina. They account for over $16.1 billion in sales revenue, and employ over 129,000 North Carolinians annually.

In turn, the N.C. Department of Administration’s Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) is the agency that seeks out and promotes black, women-owned and other businesses of color in the state, to business with state government in terms of procurement of goods and services. The “HUB” Office, as it’s commonly known, works to make sure that qualifying businesses meet state requirements to contract with state agencies for a variety of needs.

“Investing in the growth and development of small and minority owned businesses creates opportunities for individuals to improve their quality of life and the communities where they live,” N.C. Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders said. “I have directed the HUB Office team to explore new and improved ways to deliver effective and efficient services that will spur economic growth.  Most importantly, we will foster meaningful and substantive inclusion of historically underutilized business across North Carolina to strengthen our state.”

Per the Governor’s Advisory Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses, among the 21-members appointed by Cooper were Cornelius Lambert of Greensboro, the former owner and executive vice president of CoMor Corporation, an IT and computer networking firm, and a Board Member for the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; Iris Reese of Durham, the president of Fusion Multicultural Marketing; and Andrea Harris of Raleigh, the founder of, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Minority Economic Development. At the age of 23, Harris became the executive director of a community organizing group in Henderson, and she was the youngest community action agency director in the nation at the time. 

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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